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Emergency Evacuation Procedure Tips For Your Business

Having a procedure for emergency situations can be the difference between life and death. A simple and efficient process that can be enacted quickly can prevent damage and injury. Here are a couple of tips on how to make your evacuation procedure more streamlined.

 

Plan For Everything

Knowing the possible hazards within the office (one in four office fires are started by cooking equipment), dangers, and environmental risks around your business are important. Effective evacuation plans should prepare for the worst-case scenario. The more detailed the plan, the more prepared you will be. What would happen to your business if your headquarters had to be evacuated quickly? How would you handle a time-sensitive delivery if an emergency took place? As unlikely as they may seem, preparing for these eventualities ensures you are ready for anything.

 

Know Your Role

When every second counts, it is important to know who’s doing what. Here are some roles to organize employees in case of a dangerous situation:

  • Emergency Warden: This person is responsible for the planning and preparation of emergency procedures. They check bathrooms, close doors, and perform the backup headcount at the established meeting place.
  • Assistant Emergency Warden: This position gathers reports, makes sure that safety equipment is up to date, puts signs up around high-risk areas, and calls the emergency services.
  • Guides: Having people that know the evacuation routes well, keep the routes clear, and can lead people out in an orderly fashion is essential.
  • Point Person: Every area of your business should have someone who is the last one out, checking that everyone is on their way to safety.

 

Make a Checklist

Having a physical checklist reminds employees of procedures in stressful times. Has someone called 9-1-1? Is everyone accounted for? Having these steps written down outlines a concrete evacuation plan no matter who is looking at it or what’s happening. Having a back-up plan is good practice, too. Finding multiple routes out of the building and to safety in case one gets blocked or making sure there is a shelter for employees if they will be out of the building for an extended period are examples of why planning ahead is essential.

 

Practice Makes Perfect

Running fire drills and having safety meetings keeps everyone prepared for if a crisis occurs. Practicing evacuation procedures is disruptive, but it is important the process becomes second nature. With adrenaline, stress, and panic mixed in, knowing the plan helps calm nerves.

 

No business is ever ready for an emergency, but with proper planning, damages can be reduced or eliminated. If you have any questions about making an emergency evacuation procedure or anything else, please contact Maple Plain Fire Department at 763-479-0515.