Posted: September 21st, 2022

Fires in commercial buildings without a well-thought-out fire escape plan can lead to a dangerous panic. If your professional responsibilities include your building’s fire safety plan, you can avoid this awful scenario by establishing solid fire escape plan directives. 

Fire safety is an important part of every building, and with some careful consideration, you can ensure your workers and customers can evacuate your premises calmly and safely if any emergency occurs. By incorporating the following four directives into your fire escape plan, your building can become a model of fire safety.

1) Assign responsibilities

Choose members of your staff to act as fire wardens during an emergency and train them to guide the rest of the workforce and visitors safely out of the building during an emergency. According to (1) of the Ontario Fire Code, your enterprise must include the following in your fire safety plan: Section (b) requires “the appointment and organization of designated supervisory staff to carry out fire safety duties, while section (c) states “the training of supervisory staff and instruction of other occupants in their responsibilities for fire safety.”

Your fire warden’s responsibilities include leadership during a fire, as well as planning and preparation beforehand. He must also:

Make sure your staff knows who their fire warden is, so they can look to them for guidance during a fire or other emergency. Knowing there is someone in charge keeps people calm and relaxed during episodes of extreme stress.

2) Identify possible scenarios

Depending on the nature and use of your building, it may be more susceptible to certain kinds of fires in different locations. The most common causes of fires are kitchens, intentional arson, and electrical malfunctions. Take the time to examine your property and consider the various possibilities for a fire to break out and try to create safety policies that will prevent them.

Once you’ve done your best to reduce the chance of a fire starting, you need to develop a fire escape plan around the remote possibility of where fires are most likely to occur. When it comes to fire safety, prevention is always the best cure.

3) Choose the best escape routes

Once you’ve identified the most likely causes of a fire, choose the best hallways and fire exits for the building inhabitants to make safe egress. Primary and secondary routes and exits are necessary during an emergency, and make sure these pathways are clear of any furniture or other obstructions that can impede the efficient flow of people during an emergency.

Post clear signs for exits and maps that instruct people how to get out. During an emergency, people can become disoriented, and you may have visitors in your facility that are unfamiliar with the terrain. Also, choose a safe location where everyone should congregate after exiting the building, so the fire warden can take a head count.

4) Practice 

Schedule periodic fire drills, so both your supervisors and regular staff can learn the best exit routes. The best way to learn something is always through practice, and with regular drills, your building staff can react to an emergency with calm efficiency.

The above list is a guide and isn’t meant to be exhaustive. Every building has different fire hazards and should have its own customized fire escape plan. 

If you feel you need help in designing one for your building, the fire experts at All Protect Systems have been serving the fire safety needs of Ontario area businesses since 1996. Besides fire safety plans, they also install and service fire alarms, fire extinguishers/hoses, emergency exit signs/lighting, gas detection, and periodic inspections. Call them today to find out what they can do for you!

Image by wiredsmart from Pixabay