As a business owner, you have a responsibility to your employees to create a safe work environment, and there is a reason that having an up to date fire safety plan is a required by law– it saves lives. Whether you are creating a new fire safety plan, or reviewing, updating, or otherwise making changes your current fire safety plan, here is a list of components that should be included.
Components of the Fire Safety Plan
In case of emergency, your fire safety plan should outline basic emergency procedures including how to sound the alarm, notify the fire department, and how to proceed with evacuation.
Your plan should include designated individuals who will be responsible for specific fire safety duties and back up team members who can cover in case of employee absence. These designated employees should receive the proper training and resources to carry out their duties safely and efficiently.
Floor plans and evacuation diagrams should be located in visible areas on each floor of the building. This diagram should indicate the exits, location of fire extinguishers, and any operation information on any other type of available fire prevention system.
To help fire crews quickly asses and contain the fire, your fire plan should include a full floor plan which indicates the location of sprinkler systems and water lines, and information on any hazardous materials.
Should any employee(s) require special assistance, the fire plan must be updated to include this information and an evacuation plan must be in place to accommodate special needs.
Regular fire drills should be conducted at least every 6 months. This is not only important to help keep employees ready in the case of a real emergency, but it is also an opportunity to ensure that all the relevant fire safety equipment is functioning and up to date.
Fire Alarm Maintenance
A full inspection of your fire alarm system should be scheduled for once every 12 months with fire prevention professionals. This inspection will review of your emergency lighting, fire alarm panel and batteries, smoke detectors, heat detectors, and C02 sensors.
Your maintenance inspection will also include a visual inspection of your sprinkler or other fire suppression system to ensure that it is in full working order. This may include a test of one sprinkler head. Inspectors will also check all fire extinguishers to make sure that there is no damage and that they are at the correct pressure rating.
A fire safety plan must be reviewed at least once per year, as well as any time there is a material change to the building, such as construction or renovation. It is the employer’s legal responsibility to ensure that all buildings have an up to date fire safety plan for the heath and safety of everyone.