Fire represents one of the biggest workplace safety threats. It is a hazard not only for workers but potentially for the nearby general public as well. Fire can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Workplace fires can also cause extensive property damage and can render the worksite either destroyed or out of service indefinitely.
For these reasons, an effective workplace fire evacuation plan is important. In this article, we’ll cover the workplace safety essentials to plan & create, update, and implement thorough and effective workplace fire evacuation plans.
Does your team know what to do in case of fire? Where to go? How to proceed? Whom to contact?
The best way to ensure this is the case is to have a thorough, proactive workplace fire evacuation plan in place. While there are essential elements to any fire evacuation plan, certain components of your fire evacuation plan must be customized to your workplace. Why is this the case?
No two workplaces are the same!
The fire hazards in your workplace, along with impediments to safe fire evacuation, are unique to your workplace or job site. As part of manager due diligence, a proactive approach to fire safety is thus called for.
For construction sites where the configuration and environment of the worksite are dynamic and evolving, frequent updates to the fire evacuation plan are necessary.
What to do in case of Fire at your workplace
Once a fire evacuation plan is created/updated, it’s time to put that plan into practice. Literally practice, in this case, as your team must practice fire drills on a regular basis.
Effective fire drills are an integral part of your workplace safety plan.
Fire drills help save lives and protect infrastructure by getting the whole team on board with fire safety in the workplace.
Be sure to familiarize yourself and your co-workers with your company’s fire procedure. Make sure this information is well known, posted, in manuals, and quizzed/tested more than once.
Next, we’ll explore some key universal safety procedures and tips for fire safety at your workplace.
Essential Fire Evacuation Safety for Every Worksite
No matter the size, shape, or scope of your workplace or job site, there are essential fire evacuation steps to be taken by every team, organization, or company.
Know the location of the fire extinguishers in the workplace.
Every worker must be aware of where the nearest extinguisher is at all times.
Know where your nearest emergency exits are.
Know the difference between alarm signals to quickly recognize the situation.
Knowing all of these can make all the difference in saving lives and preventing unnecessary damage.
Remember, situational awareness saves lives!!!
What You & Your Team Must Do When Fire Breaks Out
Catching fire in its earliest stage is highly important in both capping the extent of the fire and in preventing injuries & fatalities as a result of the fire.
Alert all other individuals within the workplace by activating the nearest fire alarm, shouting clearly, or by using other procedures set in place by your company.
Use the nearest exit to evacuate the workplace.
Use a fire extinguisher to put the fire out. Be careful while doing this and do not attempt if your safety and/or the safety of others is at risk or on large fires.
Tips for Better Fire Evacuation of a Worksite
Stay calm and evacuate the building immediately when you hear the fire alarm.
Along the escape route, close (don’t lock) all the doors and windows you pass by so that you can cut the fire and the smoke off and prevent spreading to other areas of your workplace, and/or to neighboring facilities, residences, etc.
Have the team go to their designated assembly point, then alert relevant supervisors that team members are safe and have successfully evacuated outside the building or work site.
Conduct fire safety training early & often to ensure that all team members adhere to all fire safety protocols put in place by your company.
Workplace Fire Evacuation Plans Are Integral to Your Workplace Safety Program
A workplace assessment for fire safety should be done for every new site or when your current site undergoes changes. All fire extinguishers should be routinely inspected.
A safe workplace is essential. Ensuring that you have the right safety procedures and policies for things such as working at heights, first aid CPR, confined space entry, as well as things like WHMIS-GHS can create a positive work environment that is safe and productive.
Advanced Consulting and Training’s team of workplace safety professionals take great pride in our ability to deliver prompt, cost-effective, and relevant workplace health and safety solutions.
(Learn more: e-books-fire-engineering-and-emergency-planning/
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