Accidents and hazards in the workplace are preventable, but they’re not always predictable—and that’s why fire safety needs to be top of mind for executives.
How does a fire prevention plan benefit your workplace? As a leader of your organization, these plans are one of the many ways you can provide peace of mind to your employees through building systems and resources that protect both people and property.
Fire Prevention Plan Basics
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), fires across the United States have increased by roughly 30 percent over the past decade, meaning that it’s more important than ever to develop an effective fire prevention plan. A comprehensive plan will include thorough documentation, regular education and all the right resources to address potential emergencies. If your organization is subject to OSHA regulations, your approach must include the following:
- Fire Hazard Identification: a comprehensive analysis of your space and all potential areas of concern/potential hazards, and what tools are needed to address future emergencies. This could include anything from monitoring a simple computer room to large, industrial equipment.
- Waste Removal Procedures: one of the most common culprits of workplace fires comes from the build-ups of dust or combustible materials (like paper or cardboard left near an electrical appliance). Create plans to mitigate these build-ups and reduce the chances of a fire emergency.
- Regular Plan Maintenance: just like the other procedures and policies around the office or work site, set aside time each quarter to update your fire safety plan based on space or policy changes.
- Responsible Party Identification: when a crisis comes up, your employees safety depends on avoiding confusion. By creating a dedicated group of individuals responsible for fire prevention plan management and execution, you ensure that you and your team are prepared for any scenario.
Depending on your specific business space and industry, you may have additional components to your plan not listed here. As a general rule, being cautious is always better than under-prepared.
Fire Prevention Tools
As part of your fire prevention plan, make a list and installation plan for all the tools your employees or facility managers need to help reduce potential damage or harm in an emergency. For most businesses, this often includes basics like fire extinguishers, fire sprinkler systems or fire alarms.
Consider using the support of an outside organization to help you with a thorough inspection, installation or renovation process. Experts will also help you understand if any of your current systems need to be updated or replaced, whether from wear over time or outdated technology.
Education and Implementation of Safety Procedures
Many of the tools that are used to help support your fire prevention plan are only as effective as the people that use them! Keep in mind that regular written and oral training will help ensure all employees at your organization feel confident that they know what to do when an emergency arises. Designate employees within your organization who carry specific roles in your fire prevention plan, from routinely checking potential hazards to helping facilitate evacuations in an emergency.
Three Steps to Get Started Now
If you don’t have a fire prevention plan in place, it’s time to get started—here are your first three steps of action:
- Contact professionals for a space evaluation. Reach out to a professional organization to help evaluate your space against employee needs and industry regulations.
- Designate a fire prevention plan committee. Organize a group of individuals in your organization to help execute and maintain your fire prevention plan.
- Prioritize quick, effective updates for your organization. Categorize your organization’s needs into immediate action versus long-term plan. Identify and execute on small, realistic tasks that can have immediate impact, like adding more fire extinguishers for accessibility or planning a fire safety and prevention training.
Now that you know how fire prevention plans benefit your workplace, and where to get started, it’s time to convert knowledge into action. Call our team today at 864-859-9700 to talk about how our team can help you keep your employees safe.