As soon as your business is up and running, you should have a fire safety plan in place to keep people safe in the event of an emergency. and, every employer should have a current fire safety plan. What is included in the plan varies depending on your business, but it typically includes emergency exits, evacuation procedures, and where to go if there is an emergency. For each business with staff, a safety plan should be established and include:
Every business is required to have at least one fire extinguisher in working condition on their premises. A fire extinguisher is a device used for controlling small fires, often in emergencies. Extinguishers use several different methods to put out fires, depending on what the fire is made of, and what its combustibility level is.
Ensure that employees are trained in how to operate fire extinguishers and that the devices are easily accessible at all times. If you have storage areas containing flammable goods, you will need to purchase additional fire extinguishers.
To function properly, a fire alarm needs to be tested frequently. You can test your fire alarm by having someone stand outside of the building and pressing the button, or by simply going through testing procedures in your safety plan. If there is a problem with the smoke detectors, you will need to have them replaced as soon as possible.
Ensure that the fire system is tested at least once a month and that there are scheduled maintenance checks to ensure it works effectively. If the alarm needs replacement, you must contact BC fire safety professionals immediately.
Every workplace should have an emergency exit that is easily accessible. Your business may need additional emergency exits if there are hazardous materials or large equipment that needs to be quickly removed from the building. When designing your emergency exits, make sure they are marked and easy to use in an emergency.
For businesses with large numbers of employees or visitors, having evacuation plans in place is vital to ensure everyone can be safely removed from the building. Every workplace should have different evacuation procedures depending on the number of people who occupy it, whether there are small children present, and what hazards you deal with inside. When writing your plan, make sure each exit is marked, and that employees know what to do if the alarms sound.
Every emergency exit is marked with a sign that has the designation of that specific exit. A map or floor plan that clearly shows all exits and hazards for employees to reference during an emergency situation must be posted in a place where all employees can access it.
Employees need to know how to use stairways, hallways, and exits in the case of an emergency. Having clearly marked exit signs throughout your building is critical for people to be able to evacuate quickly in the event of a fire so that nobody becomes trapped or injured.
Employers should train employees on how to use a fire extinguisher so they know, at least, which type of fire extinguisher is best suited for what type of fire. First responders who have been trained can help put out small fires, but untrained members of staff can use a fire extinguisher to at least keep the situation from getting worse.
Guidelines for handling hazardous materials
If your business creates hazardous materials like chemicals, you need an emergency action plan for what to do if something goes wrong with the materials. Each chemical that is used in your facility needs information on how it is used, potential hazards involved with it, and who to contact in case of a spill or other emergency.
You also need an emergency action plan for your business’s biohazardous materials like needles and blood. Depending on the nature of work that goes on in your facility, you may create different plans depending on risk assessments. It is also recommended that employees are trained on how to properly clean up and dispose of biohazardous materials.
Access to emergency numbers
It’s also important to remember that you should have all contact information for your local fire department stored somewhere easily accessible in case of emergency – this includes phone numbers, address, etc. Make sure that this information is provided to all employees so that they have all of the necessary information in case of an emergency.
Having a fire safety plan that is updated regularly and practiced by employees will help to ensure that all staff is well versed in evacuation procedures should an emergency occur. A review of your plan with your employees is also recommended at least once every year.