Workplaces must have develop a written fire safety plan that essentially covers all of the procedures, systems, and actions that managers and employees must take in the event of a fire. Also known as fire prevention plans, it's important workers not only are aware of the plan, but are also trained on safety procedures to know how to properly respond to an emergency.
Fire Safety Plan Elements
A comprehensive fire safety plan will include:
- Employee responsibilities: A list of staff who have designated duties and roles during an emergency such as who is responsible for calling the fire department, who is authorized to order an evacuation, etc.
- Fire hazards: After assessing the workplace, a list of all major fire hazards should be compiled along with related maintenance and housekeeping procedures.
- Emergency egress: Evacuation and escape routes are identified and proper evacuation procedures are detailed. This includes listing who must remain in the building to operate critical equipment before evacuating and the protocol for accounting for occupants and employees following an evacuation.
- Fire protection systems: A detailed list of fire prevention equipment and who is responsible maintenance. A schedule should be created to ensure crucial fire protection systems (like a fire alarm system) is in working order in case of an emergency.
- Notifying & reporting: Preferred and alternative means must be put in place for notifying occupants of a fire, and reporting fires to the fire department or other designated emergency response organization.
- Plans: A site plan diagram should be created to highlight the assembly point, fire hydrant locations, and the routes for fire department access. Additionally, a floor plan should clearly identify a building's exits, primary and secondary evacuation routes, accessible egress routes, areas of refuge, manual fire alarm boxes, portable fire extinguishers, and fire alarm controls.
Written fire safety plans should be annually reviewed and updated as necessary, and must be made available in the workplace for employees to reference.
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