What would your life be like if you survived a fire with burn marks all over your face? Or worse– what if you or a co-worker didn’t escape the blazing building?
Fire is no joke. It harms and it kills.
Companies should have a fire prevention plan in place in order to minimize the risk to people and property should something bad occur.
First, there should be a fire emergency evacuation plan that everyone in the building knows about, just in case a fire broke out. This plan can include posters on walls indicating routes to take out of the building, as well as practice drills so people actually know how and when to respond to a potential fire. For example, during a practice drill, people could choose a path out of the building that would be the most efficient. They could also practice working with fire extinguishers to know how to operate them in case they’d ever need to do so. Furthermore, what about special needs people? Who would be responsible for helping them navigate their way out? These kinds of issues should be discussed every couple months so people who work in a particular building are all on the same page should a fire occur.
As far as fire prevention is concerned, companies should train employees on the proper care and handling of combustible materials. Check for fire hazards periodically and remove them. Heat-producing equipment should be inspected often. Procedures detailing fire prevention best practices should be written in a book read by all employees, as well as talked about and practiced “in real life.”
Practically-speaking, there should be a maintenance plan for buildings that includes checking to make sure emergency and exit lights have bulbs that are always functioning. Backup power sources should be checked to make sure they’re able to function if needed, too.
Simple things like good housekeeping matter. Trash shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate as it could become a fire hazard. Trash is best stored in metal cans with tight-fitting lids.
Finally, invest in leaders who’ll know exactly what to do if a fire occurs in the building. There should be a small team of individuals who take fire prevention and fire drills so seriously that they inspire others to do so as well. These leaders are the ones whom others will look to should problems happen.