Why Your Business Should Have Regular Fire Drills | SERVPRO® of Downtown Charleston
When you’re operating a business, you have so many things on your plate. You’re concerned with everything from operational expenses to income to employee welfare to the ROI of your marketing efforts.
With all of those to-dos, it can be easy to allow some aspects of business to slip by. One that you shouldn’t allow to fall by the wayside? Regular fire drills.
In fact, when was the last time your business had a fire drill? If you can’t name it, you’re probably overdue.
Why Fire Drills Are Important
First things first, why are fire drills needed? A fire can have disastrous consequences for a business, impacting the structure of the facility and the products inside. But it can also put the lives of people in danger.
And that danger zone starts within seconds after a fire sparks. Once a fire begins, you may only have a couple minutes to safely exit the building before the entire structure can go up in flames.
Most office buildings, or retail facilities, aren’t necessarily set up for quick evacuation. Depending on your specific building and setup, you may have to navigate around multiple offices and down staircases—or you may need to dodge clothing racks and mannequins.
That’s why it is vitally important to plot out the escape route ahead of time and to practice it with all employees so they know how to quickly get out.
How to Conduct a Business Fire Drill
Not sure where to begin? Some basics will help:
- Work with the fire department to determine an escape plan. They can help you determine the best way to evacuate when needed. Like in the home, there should be two ways to evacuate from every room in the building.
- Outline those plans and place them strategically in the building. These need to be easily referenceable, both during an emergency and at other times for review. It should also be included in employee onboarding and training materials.
- Determine who’s in charge. You need to have a safety team with leaders who are responsible in case a fire begins. This team of employees should be prepared to roll-call your entire roster of employees once evacuated, as well as any vendors or other people inside the building.
- Run the drill. During a fire drill, your team should act as if the building is actually on fire. Run through every part of the scenario, including escaping from the building and taking roll to ensure everyone is out. During these drills, practice alternative scenarios, too, such as what to do in case one route is blocked and another needs to be used.
- Repeat the drill. When you initially create a fire escape plan for your business, you should practice it every few weeks for a little while. This develops familiarity, which can help prevent chaos in the case of an actual fire. After a while, you can begin having unannounced fire drills every quarter.
Would your business be prepared if disaster were to strike? Our team of experts can help you create an Emergency Ready Plan for your business. Get in touch today to get started.