Fire drills make it possible for employees to practice exiting the office in the case of an emergency. A practiced exit plan will allow everyone to react quickly, calmly, and safely in case of a true emergency. Periodic drills may also be necessary as part of your insurance policy.
Fire Drill Objectives
The main objective of your fire drill should be to get everyone out efficiently and safely in the event of an emergency however, as part of that, your objectives should include:
- Giving employees an opportunity to practice emergency procedures in a simulated environment
- Assessing whether employees can carry out assigned emergency duties
- Recognizing whether the evacuation procedures were effective
- Considering any changes or alterations to improve performance
- Complying with any fire code or insurance requirements
How frequently you hold fire drills should be decided by your local fire code and your office fire hazards. Flammable materials) or elaborate exit procedures (eg. A high-rise construction ), fire drills should be conducted more often. For these types of workplaces, fire drills scheduled every three weeks may be appropriate, whereas other offices may just require drills every six months.
Announced vs. Unannounced
The type of drill may also depend on your purpose for your occasion. By way of instance, an announced drill may be preferred if you’re introducing a new evacuation process. If employees are learning a new procedure, a scheduled drill will enable them to learn more effectively. But since emergency situations are never planned, you also want to use unannounced drills to see how people will react and to make sure everyone can depart efficiently and safely.
Your security team should debrief after every fire drill to assess how it went and whether any changes to roles or procedures are necessary. They should consider things like:
- Did all workers hear the alarm?
- Did all employees evacuate?
- Did employees shut down equipment before they evacuated?
- Did fire doors release?
- Did the designated workers carry out their security duties?
- Did employees follow evacuation routes?
- Were evacuation routes clear?
- Did any workers need assistance?
- Did workers go to assembly areas after they exited?
- Was everyone accounted for?
These are a critical part of workplace safety and will help protect employees from not only fire but also other situations that require a fast exit from the workplace such as power outages.