Fire Safety Procedures for the Workplace
May 21, 2020
The bad news—a fire breaks out in your workplace.
The good news—you are ready because you have done your homework and prepared for the possibility of an emergency.
Emergency Action Plan
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires most employers to have an emergency action plan for various scenarios, including fires in the workplace.
There are two main steps businesses need to take for their fire emergency action plans:
Create a plan
Train your employees
The first step seems obvious, but until there is an actual, detailed plan on paper, you have nothing specific to share with the employees.
Creating a Fire Safety Plan
There are several resources available to help you create your plan, including OSHA’s guidelines.
Make sure your plan is included in your employee manual and is part of any onboarding materials for new employees. It is also recommended to have the highlights of your plan—including floor plans and escape routes—posted in a public place like a break room.
An emergency action plan for fires should include details on how to alert the employees, how to report the fire, and how to evacuate the facility.
The OSHA plan recommends you:
Make sure alarms are distinctive and recognized by all employees as a signal to evacuate the work area or perform actions identified in your plan.
Make available an emergency communications system such as a public address system, portable radio unit, or other means to notify employees of the emergency and to contact local law enforcement, the fire department, and others.
Stipulate that alarms must be able to be heard, seen, or otherwise perceived by everyone in the workplace.
Employee Fire Safety Training
Training on the plan should happen on an annual basis at a minimum. Set aside time to read through, quiz, and drill your procedures with your employees.
Changes in the physical structure of the workplace, i.e., building expansions and remodels or adding new fire prevention equipment, require additional training, so employees know how to locate and safely operate them.
FSS offers a wide range of individually customized fire alarm and protection systems for your business. Our certified technicians will work with your company to create a fire safety system best suited for your needs.