As a business owner, safety needs to be a priority. One of the biggest focus areas for your building should be fire safety. No matter what type of business you have, a fire can be destructive and may leave you scrambling to recover. Making sure that you are prepared for such an event can make a significant difference in the way that you can respond and get your business back into normal operation. The less downtime, the less profit loss you'll suffer. Here are a few things to consider as you put your plan in place.
You Need To Assess Your Risk Of Fire
The very first thing you need to do is thoroughly evaluate your building's fire risk. You can't create a response plan until you know exactly what you have to address. While you can walk through your building yourself to evaluate the existing fire hazards, you don't have the trained eye that fire professionals have. You should consult your local fire marshall or the chief at your local fire department to schedule a complete building assessment.
The inspector will come out and go through your entire building, checking wiring hazards, equipment operation, escape routes, fire doors, and all of the other necessary elements. You'll get a report at the end of the inspection that tells you what, if anything, you need to address to get everything up to safety code and ensure that your employees and business are prepared in the event of a fire.
You Should Ensure That You Have Fire Protection
During your fire safety inspection, your evaluator will tell you about any fire protection equipment that your building can benefit from. This can include many things, but you should start with fire monitoring. A fire monitoring system is an alarm and sprinkler system that's wired to a central hub. That central hub will monitor alarm notifications and dispatch emergency services right away if there's a fire.
With integrated sprinkler systems, the alarm activation will trigger your sprinklers. You just need to be sure that your sprinkler systems are filled appropriately for each section of the building. If you have rooms with computer equipment or machinery, you'll need dry chemical or oxygen-deprivation systems so that you don't damage the equipment in any way.
You Need Emergency Plans
Once you've identified your safety concerns, fire threats, and evacuation routes, you need to put a plan in place to help your employees understand the appropriate response in the event of an emergency. After you distribute the emergency plans, it's time to make sure that everyone understands it.
Train everyone on how to operate the fire extinguishers. Then, make a plan to have evacuation drills. The drills are important because they allow everyone to practice the evacuation and response without the stress of an actual emergency. The old saying that practice makes perfect is true, and the more you practice, the faster everyone will get at the evacuation plan.
You Should Have Routine Inspections
Even the best fire safety equipment isn't going to help if it's not functional. To ensure that everything is working the way that it should, you need to schedule routine inspections. Your local fire safety officers or fire marshall can tell you how often the systems should be inspected and what needs to be done.
Some of the inspections can be done on your own. Just make sure you have a set schedule and you stick to it. Other inspections need to be done by a licensed fire safety professional from companies like Fyr Fyter Inc, so don't try to do those on your own. The sooner you establish a routine, the safer your building will be.