- Develop a safety plan for emergencies such as fires, earthquakes, or active shooters, including evacuation routes and contact information for emergency services.
- Equip the building with emergency equipment such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and REX motion sensors.
- Train employees regularly on measures to take during an emergency, such as evacuation routes, use of fire extinguishers and first aid kits, etc.
- Ensure all staff are aware of the safety plan and how to use it in an emergency.
- Create a designated meeting spot outside the building for employees to gather in case of evacuation.
When running a business, it’s important to prepare for the worst. Emergencies can happen anytime, and it’s important to be prepared to keep your employees safe. Emergencies such as fires, earthquakes, or even active shooters can be devastating. That’s why it’s important to prepare your business for any emergency ahead of time. Here are some tips for preparing your business for an emergency:
Create a Safety Plan
The first step to ensuring your employees are prepared for an emergency is to create a safety plan. This should include information about what type of emergencies could occur and how your staff should respond in each situation. You should also include contact information for emergency services and evacuation routes so that everyone knows where to go if they need help. Depending on the kind of emergency, here’s how you can craft a safety plan:
For Fire Emergencies
Everyone should know the evacuation routes and where to meet outside the building if there is a fire. Your plan should also include instructions on using fire extinguishers and where the fire alarms are located. Also, make sure that everyone knows not to use the elevator, as it could get stuck in case of a fire.
If you live in an area where earthquakes are common, make sure your employees know what steps to take if one does occur. This can include taking cover under desks or in doorways, avoiding glass and windows, and using the stairs instead of the elevator.
For Active Shooter Situations
Active shooting has been on the rise in recent years, so every business should have a plan for how to respond if an active shooter does enter their premises. Make sure your staff knows how to hide or barricade themselves and when evacuating is safe. It’s also advisable to have a bunker-type room in the building where employees can go if they need to hide.
Arm Your Building with Emergency Equipment
Having the right emergency equipment can help ensure everyone is safe in an emergency. Make sure your building has the following items:
Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers
Aside from being required by law to have smoke detectors in your building, they’re also an important tool for alerting people to the presence of smoke or fire. Make sure you have both battery-powered and wired versions on each floor so that the other will still work if one fails.
Fire extinguishers should also be available where fires are more likely to occur. Ensure the fire extinguishers are up to date and your staff knows how to use them. It’s best to remember PASS:
- Pulling the pin
- Aiming at the base of the fire
- Squeezing the trigger
- Sweeping from side to side
First Aid Kit
Having a first aid kit is essential for any business. This should include basic items such as bandaids, gauze, and antiseptic wipes. It’s also advisable to keep an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) on hand if someone has a heart attack.
Request to Exit Motion Sensor
A Request to Exit (REX) motion sensor is a device that senses movement and opens the door when someone moves in front of it. A reliable request to exit motion sensor allows people to walk through a door without using their hands. This is especially useful in emergencies, as it allows people to quickly and easily exit the building.
Train Your Employees
Training employees can make the difference between life and death in an emergency. Here are simple tips on effectively training your employees:
- Hold regular emergency drills throughout the year so everyone knows what to do in an emergency.
- Make sure all staff understand the basics of first aid and CPR.
- Make sure that everyone is aware of the safety plan and knows how to use it.
- Provide clear instructions on evacuation routes and where to meet outside the building.
- Make sure all staff know how to use any emergency equipment in the building.
Emergencies are unpredictable and can happen anytime, so it’s important to be prepared. Following these tips will help ensure that your business is ready for any emergency and that your employees are safe. By taking the proper measures upfront, you can ensure that if an emergency does occur, your staff will know what to do and how to stay safe.