Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The Importance of Office Fire Drills

Fire drills are one of the best ways for employers to make sure that their employees are safe and know what to do in the event of a fire. Practice and preparation helps employees respond to emergency situations quickly, calmly, and in the safest manner possible.

Does your business practice regular fire drills? If not, here are a few reasons why you should:

Fire Drill Objectives

The main reasons why you should be conducting regular fire drills are: 

?     They give employees the chance to practice emergency procedures in a safe and controlled simulation.

?     They determine if employees fully understand emergency duties, and can carry them out effectively.

?     They evaluate the effectiveness of your current emergency procedure, and can help you identify communication issues, bottlenecks, and other problems.

?     They comply with requirements of your local fire code.

Fire Drill Frequency

How often your business conducts fire drills depends largely on your local fire code, and partially on the fire hazards present in your workplace. If you work with flammable materials, or your office is located in a multi-storey building, then fire drills should be conducted every 3-6 months.

Should Fire Drills be Announced or Unannounced? 

While your employees would likely prefer that fire drills be announced in advance, unannounced drills are better tools for accurately measuring how prepared your employees are to respond to an emergency, and how effective your emergency procedures are.

However, if you are changing your emergency procedures, or are planning to introduce new employees to your evacuation procedures, it’s best to do so during announced drills. This is because your employees will be focused and feel secure, and are more likely to retain the new information that you’re presenting to them.

How to Evaluate a Fire Drill

When conducting a drill, make sure that safety staff are in place to observe, take notes, and evaluate the drill immediately after it happens. This is critical for ensuring that your employees comply with safety regulations, and for identifying any areas for improvement, such as obstructed hallways.

Some things to include in your evaluation are:

?     Did the fire alarms activate properly?

?     Could all of your employees hear the alarm?

?     Did any employees who need help evacuating get assistance?

?     Did your employees check their work areas for fire?

?     Could all employees clearly hear any instructions over the intercom?

?     Did any auto-locking doors open once the alarm sounded?

?     Did your employees close doors and windows (if applicable) before evacuating?

?     Was any equipment in use properly shut down?

?     Did all employees participate in the drill?

?     Did your employees carry out emergency duties properly?

?     Did all employees follow assigned evacuation routes?

?     Were all hallways and stairwells clear?

?     Did your employees know where to assemble outside after evacuating?

?     Was someone in charge of checking to make sure all employees were accounted for?

Fire drills may seem like a hassle, but making sure that all your employees are aware of your emergency procedures, and can safely evacuate the building in the event of a fire isn’t just good business; it could save a life!

Bison Office Fire Drills

Posted by Rob Read at 11:38 AM 0 Comments