The best way to plan for a potential fire emergency is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Identify the potential sources of fire and how to control for those. But you should also plan for the worst.
If a fire were to happen, consider these questions:
- Fire Extinguishers:
- Do you have enough fire extinguishers in your facility?
- Can you find them?
- If you stand in the middle of your facility can you look around and find the fire extinguishers?
- Are they accessible?
- Are they in good condition?
- Do they have signs indicating where they are?
- Are they the right kind of extinguisher for the hazards?
- Have employees been trained on the use of extinguishers? If not, have they been trained to evacuate?
- Notification and communication
- If there is a fire, who is responsible for notifying the fire department?
- Can you call 911 or do you need to dial 9 for an outside line?
- Have you designated someone to meet the fire department and tell them what caused the fire, where in the building it is located and any hazards that exist (chemicals)?
- Can people get out?
- How will they know to evacuate?
- Can exits be easily seen?
- Is there a clear path to the exits?
- How will you account for everyone?
These are a lot of questions to ask. Take them one at a time. Walk through a fire scenario and what should happen each step of the way. And, make sure employees know what is expected of them in the case of a fire.