What's your Fire Escape Plan?
When there is an emergency situation, like a building fire, every second counts. The more prepared you are before the emergency determines how quickly you respond. Emergency planning and training is a direct influence on the outcome of an emergency situation. Facilities with well-prepared employees and well-developed plans will likely have less structural damage and fewer employee injuries.
It is important to designate multiple evacuation routes and exits when preparing a fire evacuation plan. This directs individuals to more than one way to exit the building, should an exit be blocked by fire. When choosing emergency exits, consider the following recommendations.
- Exits should be clearly marked and well lit.
- Exit routes should be wide enough to accommodate the number/volume of evacuating personnel.
- Exit routes should remain unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
When preparing drawings that show evacuation routes and exits, be sure to post them for all employees to see. Escape plan should be practiced to help familiarize staff with emergency exit routes. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends practicing fire and emergency evacuations at least twice a year. Talk to your local fire department, as local codes may require more frequent drills for various facilities.
SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. can help with emergency planning by creating an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your facility. For more information about the ERP or emergency planning, contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. 616-396-8180
Fire Escape Safety Tips
- Make a plan. Remember, every second counts.
- Practice your plan. Make sure you, your
employees and your family know the escape routes from every area of your home or business. Practice leaving the property with your eyes closed, feeling your way out.
- Leave immediately. Don’t stop for possessions or keepsakes. Exit as quickly as possible. If the smoke has already grown thick, crawl low and cover your mouth to avoid smoke inhalation.
- Never open doors if they are hot to the touch. When you come to a closed door, use the back of your hand to see if the door is hot to the touch. If it appears the fire is on the other side of the door, leave it shut and find another escape route.
- Designate an outside meeting place. Designate a meeting location away from the building. Take attendance to ensure everyone is accounted for and safely evacuated.