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Developing a Fire Safety Plan for Your Workplace
Every business needs to have a fire safety plan in place. Whether your workplace is a factory, office, kitchen, or any other environment, having proper safety protocols, policies, and employee training programs in place saves lives, prevents injuries, and decreases productivity losses.
The Cost of Fire
Fires are usually unexpected and can result in devastating damage and injuries. Depending upon the location of the fire, and sources of fuel that are in the vicinity, fires can quickly become damaging and even deadly to the surrounding community. Beyond the employees of your business, members of the community, such as firefighters and first responders, can also be at risk of injury and death from a fire.
A fire is also extremely costly for a business. Fire-related damage and injuries cost billions of dollars every year, and much of this cost can be avoided by establishing and following a comprehensive fire safety program.
Making a Fire Safety Plan
Comprehensive fire safety plans not only outline what to do in an emergency, but they let your employees know that your business is committed to their safety. In it’s most basic form, a fire safety plan should highlight emergency procedures that will be used when a fire occurs. These procedures include basic responses such as sounding the fire alarm, contacting the fire department and emergency services, and evacuating the occupants clear of the building.
A fire safety plan also includes specifics about training and procedures with which employees need to be familiar. Instructions for preventing fires, and handling them when they occur, will be in the fire safety plan, along with a designation of responsibilities and duties for supervisors during an emergency. Supervisors will also find detailed information and instructions for using emergency equipment, including the fire alarm, smoke detectors, ventilation systems, and emergency generators.
Floor plans and evacuation routes and procedures should also be included in the plan. For example, there may be procedures related to elevator use and how to help anyone requiring special assistance to get out of the building. Fire drills need to be regularly conducted, and the procedure for these drills will be in the plan. Another important part of your fire safety plan is the alternate fire safety plan. There should always be alternative fire safety measures available and accessible in case any of the primary systems are shutdown.
For any business, developing a comprehensive workplace safety program includes fire safety. Evaluating your business and reviewing OSHA guidelines, along with the assistance of your business insurance broker, will help you to safeguard your employees in the event of a fire.
Poms & Associates offers a range of brokerage services and has the most current resources available on business insurance policies, including BOPs and add-on coverage. Whether you want to learn about business insurance policies, or how Poms & Associates can assist you in crafting a solid workplace and fire safety program, please visit our website or contact us.
Gabriella Messina is an author who has written online content for a variety of business and insurance related topics, including business insurance basics, workers’ compensation, liability insurance, and malpractice.