For any office environment, it’s important to be well-equipped to handle anything that comes your way. This goes for any emergency or accident that may happen in the workplace, especially fire emergencies and incidents.
Offices and HR departments have trained their employees on fire safety training as well as general health and safety training, which is a great starting point. Training equips people with the right knowledge to prevent any workplace hazards. In addition to training, there’s also plenty of tools you can equip your office with that’ll help you be prepared in an emergency. We’ll outline three easy emergency preparedness tools to have in your office.
Making an emergency evacuation plan is vital to ensuring employees have the right knowledge of what to do in an emergency. Be sure to consult with fire professional experts, the building manager, and the office manager to make this emergency evacuation plan.
After a plan has been made, it should be posted as a map and readily available to employees. This means posting the map at necessary entrances, fire exits, and making it available to people near their desk or on your online computer system.
Ready.gov says that it’s best to start with an emergency preparedness plan and outline it in the workplace:
“At the very least, every facility should develop and implement an emergency plan for protecting employees, visitors, contractors and anyone else in the facility. This part of the emergency plan is called “protective actions for life safety” and includes building evacuation (“fire drills”), sheltering from severe weather such as tornadoes, “shelter-in-place” from an exterior airborne hazard such as a chemical release and lockdown. Lockdown is protective action when faced with an act of violence.”
A fire extinguisher is a first line of defence in the event of a fire. While a fire alarm and smoke detector are also important tools to have, a fire extinguisher can directly help someone who could potentially put out a fire.
Most fire extinguishers are equipped to handle small flames until fire services arrive on scene. It could even help someone escape a growing fire by clearing a pathway for them. There are plenty of reasons why you need to have a fire extinguisher in your workplace, and that’s why it’s mandatory in all buildings, even residential homes.
While almost all fire emergencies involve evacuating the building, it’s important to equip your office for other emergencies as well. If there is a minor or major workplace injury and you’re waiting for emergency services to arrive, a first aid kit can be a life-saving tool.
First-aid kits usually include band-aids, gauze, rubbing alcohol, among other tools that provide quick fixes until further help arrives. It’s best to decide what first aid kit to buy by assessing the size of your workplace and what kind of potential hazards there are. From there, you can look into what your first-aid kit should be equipped with in the office.
Pickering Safety says it’s important to keep a first aid kit in the workplace to decrease the risk of health complications:
“A well-equipped first-aid kit, in most cases, can prevent further complication with the injury or medical condition. Keeping a medical kit handy can be cost effective because it’s less likely a wound treated immediately with a first-aid kit will require complex attention in the future.”