How important is a fire action plan?
Having a fire action plan is a crucial safeguard for your organisation.
Some people say their fire action plan consists of simply running to the nearest exit and hoping for the best. On the surface, this simple, one-line instruction can seem logical, but trust us, it is not a good idea. A safe and efficient fire action plan involves copious amounts of planning, logistics and careful consideration. This extra effort is certainly worth it – having a fire action plan is proven to dramatically minimise damage and even help prevent a fire in the first place. On the other hand, the run-and-hope-for-the-best approach has been proven to lead to chaos, uncertainty and bad decision-making. Here are just some of the reasons why a fire action plan is important:
Creating clearer minds
Fires are terrifying and unexpected. When people are faced with terrifying and unexpected scenarios they tend to panic. Panic causes us to lose our focus and act illogically. Imagine yourself in the face of a fire: do you know where your nearest exits are at all times? Do you know who is in charge and what your role should be if a fire occurs? By providing a clear set of guidelines and expectations for individuals, a solid evacuation plan consisting of evacuation diagrams help us remain focussed on our most important task: getting to safety quickly.
A clearer chain of command
When there’s confusion in a workplace emergency, people run the risk of injury and property damage. One way to reduce this chaos is by electing calm and level-headed leaders to coordinate crucial tasks. These members are part of the Emergency Control Organisation (ECO). Some of these roles may include:
- A point of contact to communicate with emergency services and decide whether emergency evacuation should occur
- A coordinator, who completes the list of safety tasks like turning off gas, checking offices and searching for missing team members
- A head counter, on the ground outside to ensure everyone is accounted for at the designated meeting point
- A first aider who’s been trained to deal with injuries like burns, cuts or scrapes until emergency services arrive.
Drilling in safer practices
Fire action plans provide the training for staff members to understand their role in an emergency. Did you know less than a quarter of people know exactly where the nearest fire extinguisher is at any given time? This is a pretty scary fact that indicates just how robust evacuation planning is to overall fire safety. A concise action plan is far easier for people to practice, giving everyone a clearer idea of what to do should a real fire occur. Staff should also be trained and retrained in the fire action plan, in line with the unique risks present to the premises over time.
Prevention is better than a cure
Having no fire action plan is a sure-fire way to encourage people to run amuck. When people know how to put out a small fire using the correct fire equipment, they can help stop the fire in its tracks. Similarly, good knowledge of fire hazards and dangers will reduce the chance of fire in the first place. When you work to prevent a fire, you take an offensive, as opposed to a defensive, position that saves time and maximises your safety as an organisation. Don’t forget: cool heads and clear plans are the difference between life and death in an emergency evacuation. Employers who take the time to thoroughly develop a fire action plan provide employees with a safer workplace.
Need help upgrading your fire action plan? Fire Block Plans is here to help you and your team. Our highly-qualified experts will help find a suitable emergency evacuation plan, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.