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Create a basic pre-fire plan in 5 steps

July 23, 2014

Five steps to protect your business from fire damages

Create a basic pre-fire plan in 5 steps

Create a basic pre-fire plan in 5 steps

1. Gather information

Accumulate property and tenant data. Note any unoccupied floors, alarm system details, hydrant availability, information on fire protection systems and heating and cooling systems, and quantities and locations of hazardous materials or machinery. List all tenants, descriptions of their businesses, hours of operation and when they are on site, their location, contact information and if they have employees with specific rescue needs.

2. Document & publish information needed a fire occurs

Develop written plans that are easy to understand, accessible and regularly updated. Include any gathered property and tenant data, as well as any maps, diagrams and drawings that reflect the building's construction (size, height and fire-rated walls); the surrounding property's configuration; or tenant dwellings. Include blueprints, floor plans and aerial photographs. File and publish the information in binders and on your server or in the cloud so the plan can be accessed electronically.

3. Host building walk-through for local fire department

Periodically invite the local fire department to visit the building. Direct knowledge of a building may help save lives and minimize damage. Inspections and walk-throughs are especially important in complex buildings and areas predominantly served by volunteer firefighters because officers frequently change. Familiarizing current fire officers with your layout may be helpful.

4. Practice by conducting regular fire drills

Conduct regular drills to teach employees efficient and effective exit strategies in the event of a fire. Employees should be aware of the appropriate exists and how to safely reach them upon evacuation. Employees should meet at a predetermined location so a head count can be taken.

5. Appoint fire wardens and assign tasks

Owners and occupants are just as vital to a pre-fire plan as fire departments. Appoint building fire wardens and charge them with evacuating building occupants in the event of a fire. Also, appoint specific individuals likely to be in the building at all hours to notify the fire department in an emergency.

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