While businesses place most of their focus on the day to day running of their operations, health and safety need to always be primary concerns. In Australia, one of the greatest dangers in many workplaces is the possibility of a fire breaking out.
Under the right circumstances fires can burn quickly and unpredictably. This means that it is essential that all staff are aware of fire safety and prevention procedures. These procedures along with an evacuation plan to follow, can help to avoid the chaos that could potentially result in injury or tragically, loss of life.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the importance of having an effective and efficient evacuation plan, as well as some other fire safety measures.
Every Workplace Should Have An Evacuation Plan
This plan might be something created by the owners and managers of the business, or it could be an evacuation plan that was implemented after the construction of the building. Either way, the assistance of professional fire protection services should be employed to ensure the plan is doable and effective in the rapid and orderly evacuation of the building occupants to a safe place.
In order to assist with efficient evacuation, emergency exit sign installation is an absolute must. If the building is dark and smoky, the only real guidance to indicate the way out is the illumination of an emergency exit sign.
Ensuring that everyone working in the building is aware of the plan and safe assembly point outside is crucial. The evacuation plan should be displayed prominently on the walls of the workplace, so everyone can view the plan and familiarise themselves with emergency exits and the assembly location. Assembly locations are important as they make it easier to determine who might be unaccounted for.
Running the occasional fire drill is also something that should be kept in mind, as this puts the evacuation plan into practice so everyone knows what to do if a real fire breaks out at work.
Install Fire Sprinkler Systems For Your Office
Having an office sprinkler system is an absolute must for fire suppression and everyone’s safety. If your workplace does not currently have a sprinkler system installed, then this needs to become a top priority.
If a fire breaks out and the sprinkler system is activated, this could very well be the one thing that stands between life and death for workers, as well as minimising damage to the building. Activated sprinklers will also make evacuating a lot easier, as the water offers a layer of protection, as well as reducing the smoke haze.
Effective sprinkler systems are a must in every single workplace.
Fire Safety Training Is a Wise Move
All employees, managers and business owners should receive fire training from a professional fire safety company. If everyone has been trained in fire safety and prevention, it could go a long way towards preventing fires from occurring in the first place, as well as ensuring staff know what to do should a blaze break out.
As an example of how fire safety training can help is with the use of fire extinguishers. There’s really not much point in having fire extinguishers located throughout the workplace if no one knows how to use them. While it’s not rocket science, precious time will be wasted if staff have to first figure out how to use the fire extinguisher before using it to suppress a fire.
If your workforce is well-versed in fire safety and prevention, everyone will have peace of mind, knowing exactly what to do should an emergency situation arise. It’s about confidence, repetition and forming fire safety habits that can ultimately save lives.
Search for fire protection services in your local area so you can arrange to have you and your staff fully trained in fire safety and prevention.
One of the most important aspects of fire safety in the workplace is having an efficient evacuation plan in place. It’s also vital that everyone is fully aware of the evacuation plan and where the designated assembly point is located.
If everyone is aware of the evacuation plan and all staff have undergone fire safety training, then your workplace is well-equipped to deal with an emergency.
Ken Thomas is the director at Total Fire Solutions, office sprinkler system designer and installers, and one of the top 3 independent fire system distributors for the Asia Pacific region. His vision is to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ fire protection company committed to NSW mining and heavy industry. He is passionate about and excited by the latest developments in fire protection technology.