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Emergency Preparedness: Before a Fire
- Establish a fire preparedness plan that takes prevention, response and recovery into consideration.
- Conduct a fire safety appraisal of your facilities and operations.
- Develop smoking regulations (smoking is a major cause of all fires).
- If you have flammable gasses or liquids, make sure you have safe procedures for handling them.
- If your business involves hot work (e.g., welding) make sure safety rules are in effect.
- Employ good housekeeping methods; do not allow trash and rubbish to accumulate.
- Make sure your facilities meet current fire codes.
- Have in place a preventive maintenance program for any operational equipment that may pose a fire hazard.
- Install and maintain fire detection systems (alarms, etc.) and fire suppression systems (fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, etc.) in your facilities.
- Test all detection and suppression equipment per local and national fire codes.
- Ensure that there is an adequate water supply for sprinkler systems.
- Meet with your local fire department to exchange information.
- Keep a list of key customers and all vendors telephone numbers in a secure location.
- Provide an alert and warning system for all your employees.
- Plan fire evacuation routes, mark them clearly and train and drill employees in using them.
- Make sure stairways are not blocked.
- Make sure emergency exits are clearly marked and not locked.
Emergency Response: During a Fire
- Identify the affected area and sound the alarm.
- Call the fire department.
- Evacuate everyone.
- Have someone at your front entrance to meet, brief and escort the fire department.
- Do not use elevators.
Emergency Recovery: After a Fire
- If appropriate, conduct a roll call of all personnel.
- Assess the facility for damage.
- Inspect all utilities and turn off those that are damaged.
- Protect equipment and inventory against further damage from water or exposure to the elements.
- If necessary, arrange for security at the scene.
- Photograph or videotape the damage and document it.
- Notify your insurance company.
- Begin your salvage operations.