Workplace 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: Your plan should be a part of your employee onboarding materials, as well as posted accessibly in public spaces in your workplace. An emergency action plan should have details on how to alert employees, how to report the fire, and how to evacuate the facility.
Train your employees: Create annual training opportunities for your employees that review the workplace emergency action plans and to go over any changes that have taken place.
Types of Fire Alarm Systems
Fire alarm systems alert the occupants of a building and serve to notify firefighters to an emergency. There are multiple options for fire alarms, including manual and automatic fire alarms.
Manual Fire Alarms
Manual fire alarm stations usually come with a pull-lever operation—one pull on the handle breaks the glass rod and sounds the alarm. However, manual fire alarms are only useful if someone is present, awake, and alert in the building where the fire starts.
Automatic Fire Alarms
Automatic fire alarms solve the issues that manual ones do not. Automatic fire alarms imitate the human senses of smell, touch, and sight, providing an alert when people are not present. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors detect fire in its early stages, while it is smoldering and producing smoke or senses a build-up of certain chemicals in the air. When these detectors are activated, they will warn anyone in the building and send signals to emergency personnel.
Professional Fire Alarm Monitoring
Nearly all professional fire alarm systems also offer monitoring services. While there is a fee for this service and usually requires a contract, you won’t have to worry about being available 24/7. With some systems, the alarms can even transmit specific floor plans to the fire department, so first responders know exactly where to go when they arrive on the scene.
Some businesses do require fire safety system monitoring due to NFPA 101®. Central monitoring is a code requirement for some types of businesses, depending on the type of business and number of occupants in the building. When you think about how fast a fire can spread, the monthly monitoring fee for your fire alarm system becomes a small price to pay for your peace of mind and to keep your employees, property, and business safe.
If an emergency is detected, the technicians in the central monitoring facility immediately notify the appropriate emergency response personnel and get help on the way. It is important to note that not all alarms are for fire emergencies. In some cases, there could be a carbon monoxide leak, or the fire alarm could sound due to the detection of smoke or high temperatures. Regardless of the emergency, monitoring technicians do their best to ensure that the right help and resources are sent to your location as quickly as possible.
Fire Alarm Inspections
Inspection and testing of fire alarm systems are required annually by NFPA 72. As a commercial business or building owner, you are required to have the fire alarm systems test yearly by a certified firm. In other words, you cannot test it yourself unless you are a NICET certified or a state licensed fire alarm technician. At FSS Technologies, our NICET and state licensed fire alarm technicians will test and visually inspect your system as required by NFPA 72. FSS will also provide you with a full inspection report, which will advise you of any deficiencies in your system. Call us today to get a quote to have your system tested.