4 Tips for Organizing Fire Drills in the Workplace
Fire drills are an important part of working in a commercial or office building, as they can keep you safe in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, they are often ignored or treated as an annoyance instead of a life-saving mechanism. Humans have a tendency to think that “It won’t happen to me”, but the reality is that there are thousands of devastating fires that occur each year — many of which end in fatalities that could potentially have been prevented. These tips for organizing fire drills in the workplace will help people take their fire prevention steps seriously while staying organized and limiting confusion.
1. Creating a Culture of Safety
Creating a culture where fire drills are simply part of the business landscape is important, and one of the most valuable measures for success that you can take. This starts with ongoing education of staff to help them see that fires truly can happen in any location at any time. Swift egress from the building is the best way to ensure that they are able to go home to their family and loved ones after a serious fire event.
2. Appoint a Leadership Team
Whether you call them floor monitors or fire leadership team doesn’t make a difference; what matters is that you have a dedicated group of trusted individuals in each work area or floor who are willing to put the lives of others before their own to keep people safe. While it’s impossible to determine how we will truly act in the event of an emergency, look for people who are always putting others first in their daily life if you want to find a solid leadership team to make your fire drills successful.
3. Have a Foolproof Plan
Create a series of plans that will carefully and steadily get everyone out the closest door to the outside. Each floor or section of the building needs to have a detailed evacuation plan that takes into consideration where a fire could potentially start as well as where people are likely to be working in the event of a fire. You’ll establish various roles for the fire evacuation team, with some of these individuals in charge of creating a plan, activating the alarms, planning exits and more.
4. Ongoing and Effective Communication
Without effective communication, it can be difficult if not impossible for your team members to know where to go and how to get started. Many experts encourage having fire drills at least 2 times each year, with businesses that are more likely to experience a fire incident practicing 3-4 times in the same period. Effective communication includes a variety of strategies, including:
- Creating a clear pattern of signage on the walls or floor indicating where fire exits are
- Ensuring that staff members know who their floor captain or security team are
- Provide staff with a quick notification option, such as text messages, emails or Slack messages
- Let staff know in advance when a fire drill is going to occur
- Have supervisors share clear expectations with their teams before the fire drills
While fire drills may interrupt the daily flow of business for half an hour or so, the lives and property that they can save are priceless. Rehearsing for an event that you hope will not occur could be one of the best uses of time all year. Want to learn more about keeping your employees and customers safe at the office or your commercial building? Call the professionals at AAA Fire Protection for assistance. Our 24-hour hotline is always available in the event of an emergency. Contact us today at 855-356-0020 to learn more or receive a free initial estimate for your business.