Fires are never expected, these occurrences happen when no one is prepared and strike businesses across the country every day. Your staff, you, and your customers could be forced to evacuate your building at a moment’s notice, so your staff must be ready in case this type of disaster happens in your business.
These are a few simple steps, you as a business owner, can do to add peace of mind and a layer of protection to your overall fire protection plan.
1. Know the Risks
A report was filed on U.S. Structure Fires in Office Properties by the NFPA that showed during the years between 2007 and 2011, fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties during each of those years. Most of these fires happened in business offices. One in every four office property fires was caused by cooking equipment, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment were second as the leading cause of fire in businesses.
Knowing the leading cause of fires in office structures can help you and your employees understand the risks and take more care with these devices. Knowing where the leading risks are can help you reduce your risk of a fire emergency.
2. Create an Emergency Evacuation Route
Your business should have an emergency evacuation route in place that is well-communicated to all personnel and employees. An emergency evacuation route is essential for any type of business that hires employees, no matter how large the business is. Not only should an evacuation route be created, but you also need to perform drills on a regular schedule so all employees understand the route and know immediately where to go when a fire emergency occurs.
OSHA requires all business owners to have at least one preferred method of reporting fires, and an evacuation route in place with policies so everyone knows how to follow the route. These are a few elements to include in your emergency evacuation route plans:
- Assign someone responsible for safely evacuating all employees
- Make sure all exits are well marked as well as your escape routes
- Perform regular fire drills
- Provide necessary training to employees on how to react in a fire event
3. Provide Fire Extinguisher Training
Depending on your business structure, fire extinguisher training will look different based on the fire hazards present. Typical office buildings can perform basic training courses on portable extinguishers. If an untrained person attempts to use a fire extinguisher, they could endanger themselves and others. Fire services, such as Austin Fire & Flood can help you locate this type of training for your employees.
4. Prevent Fires Through Training
The best way to prepare your staff for a fire emergency is to train them on how to prevent fires. While being prepared should a fire emergency occur is important, preventative training could keep a fire from igniting in the first place. These are some training tips to use with your staff:
- Keep all commercial kitchen exhaust hoods cleaned to reduce flammable grease buildup
- Keep flammable items such as boxes, linens, and paper products away from heat sources
- Make sure there is ample ventilation when cleaning products are used or other chemicals with heat sources
- Throw away wood pallets and cardboard boxes, do not store them, and allow them to pile up
- Keep all emergency exits and hallways clear in case an evacuation is necessary
Where to Learn More About Fire Emergencies and Fire Restoration
Austin Fire & Flood is your top fire and water restoration service in the area. Our team has extensive knowledge, and training and is ready to restore your business or home if you’ve suffered a fire emergency. Contact our specialists today and learn how we can get your life back on track by restoring your property quickly and efficiently.