Kyla Nievera, World Executives Digest | Developing a Comprehensive Fire Safety Plan for Small Businesses | Remember that one SpongeBob SquarePants episode called SpongeBob B.C. (Before Comedy) when SpongeBob and Patrick discover fire? Let’s just say that there’s nothing comical about playing with fire. Hopefully, we are far from SpongeGar and Patar in that episode. In the end, it doesn’t really matter how we acted when we first discovered fire. What matters now is how we use it to our benefit without leaving any room for potential danger. Unfortunately, fire can still be that annoying, unpredictable player on the field. In that respect, a well-rounded fire safety plan is essential for one’s workplace.
Talk to your employees
One would probably say that there’s absolutely nothing worse than fire hazard at a workplace. But what if you add blinding panic to the already bad situation? Let’s not challenge Murphy’s Law. As an owner of a small business, you have a chance to connect and engage with your employees on a more personal level. Use that bond to instill the fire safety protocols and behavioral patterns that would ensure your employees’ safety in case of fire. In the end, if your employees don’t know how to behave and start panicking, even the most comprehensive fire safety plan can backfire. Organize fire drills and prepare them for this dangerous situation so that they can act fast and stay calm.
Work with a fire safety inspector
A fire safety inspector will help you create a safe environment for your small business. The role of a fire inspector is to examine the entire building and check whether fire safety codes are met. That being said, never try to assess the level of safety on your own. Fire inspectors have undergone hours of special training and they can spot potential danger where the layman eye cannot. It’s essential that you come up with detailed evacuation diagrams that actually match the structure and layout of the building. In that respect, it’s essential that your workplace has a designated fire exit. Some structures require two fire exits that are not close to each other. In any case, fire exits have to be marked properly and your employees need to get familiar with using them before anything actually happens.
Fire safety and prevention measures
Fire extinguishers are not some kind of pop art wall décor. Well, they can be but let’s leave questionable décor taste for some other time. Depending on the potential fire hazard, every workplace is required to have adequate, portable fire extinguishers that match the fire type. Of course, fire extinguishers have to be inspected regularly and maintained properly.
Moreover, a sprinkler system is another form of fire suppression system that has to be present at the workplace, regardless of how small or big it is. In case of fire, the sprinklers will turn on and try to control the fire. At the same time, they will sound an alarm that will alert the authorities.
Just like the fire extinguishers, the sprinkler system has to go through regular inspections and maintenance to ensure its impeccable working order. If sprinkler system doesn’t work when the fire occurs you’ll be the one responsible for putting everyone in danger. On the other hand, poor maintenance can occasionally cause it to turn on for no reason whatsoever. Unless you want to reenact Singing in the rain at your workplace, you have to be very meticulous about this.
If you want to make sure that your small business is fully protected from fire incidents, apart from a great fire safety plan in case of emergencies, you also need to focus on thorough fire prevention plan. Only when you combine these two and take time to educate your employees can you be positive that you’ve done your best as a business owner.