Hartzell Marketing Team
How To Create and Implement a Contingency Plan
If a fire breaks out in your Connersville, IN, commercial building, you need to be prepared. If you do not have a proper emergency or evacuation plan in place, you could be putting your business and your employees at risk. No matter what type of company you have, your plan must include the following:
Minimum Requirements for a Contingency Plan
1. Reporting Procedures
All employees in your building need a basic way to report an emergency. Your emergency plan should detail this reporting process. Your workers should first sound some type of alarm as soon as they see a fire. Any delay in reporting the blaze could cause further damage.
There are many different types of alarm systems you can use, from a public address system to a horn or whistle. Just be sure that the alarm is distinctive, and that it is louder than any ambient noise in the workspace. You must also consider any employees who are blind or deaf when designing your alarm system. You may need to assign a floor warden the job of notifying those individuals about the emergency.
2. Evacuation Procedures
Next, your contingency plan should detail when an evacuation is necessary. During some disasters, such as an exterior chemical spill or a tornado, your workers will be safer if they shelter in your building. During a fire, however, everyone may need to evacuate.
To make your evacuation plan, use a floor diagram to create a map of the building. Mark off all exits and use arrows to demonstrate the routes out of the building. All the exit routes should be well-lit and free of debris. They should also be wide, as they will have to accommodate many people during an evacuation. The finished maps should be posted in prominent locations so all employees can see them.
When crafting your evacuation strategy, you may want to designate wardens who can help employees exit the building safely. For every 20 employees in the building, there should be one warden. The warden should make sure all fire doors are closed, and he or she should check various bathrooms and offices to ensure everyone is out of the premises.
3. Head Counting Procedures
The plan should additionally include a way to account for all your employees after the evacuation. Have everyone gather in a safe location away from the building so you can do a head count. If anyone is missing, notify the firefighters immediately.
Implementing an Emergency Plan
Once your plan is finalized, it is time to implement your strategy. Designate a coordinator who will oversee the emergency response. He or she should also be responsible for calling fire damage restoration experts after the flames have subsided.
Assigning this coordinator job should be part of your emergency action training. The training should also address emergency shutdown procedures and basic first-aid techniques. Finally, hold annual drills to practice your plan and make any adjustments if necessary.
If your employees do not know what to do during a fire, they could put themselves or your business in danger. A detailed contingency plan should keep everyone safe and make the evacuation less stressful.