Safety First: Crafting a Foolproof Fire Escape Plan for Your Small Business

Why Creating a Fire Escape Plan For Your
Business is Important

Fires, like many disasters, are unpredictable and can be devastating to your business.
Protecting your employees, patrons, and visitors is the top priority when faced with a fire
emergency. No matter your industry, fire safety preparedness may include creating a fire
escape plan, which is an important step for your business to take when aiming to save lives.
According to this publication from the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2021, there were 115 reported
deaths due to non-residential fires and 1,025 injuries. While fire prevention is the first step in fire
safety, having a fire escape plan is imperative for your business, no matter its size. Read along
as we explore some tips for creating a fire escape plan for your business.

Tips For Fire Escape Planning

Establishing a fire escape plan is necessary when aiming to save lives, including those of
employees, patrons, and any other people that may be in your facility. When outlining your fire
evacuation plan, here are a few tips you may want to consider:

– Consider aligning with your team to train on fire safety and fire emergency responses,
such as evacuations, systems, and procedures.
– Have a plan and assembly area for evacuation routes, especially if you have a large
facility and multiple exits. You may opt for route or exit leaders who are informed,
trained, and reliable if faced with an emergency.
– Include a process for ensuring all employees have exited safely; this may include a
name call sheet, head count (which may be helpful for small teams), area check, or
grounds sweep (if deemed safe by first responders).
Additionally, you may be able to contact your local fire department for further fire escape
planning tips or process inspections.

Crafting Your Business’ Fire Evacuation Plan

As you evaluate and prepare to create a fire evacuation plan for your business, you may need
to collaborate with various accredited entities to ensure you’re adhering to local safety laws and
codes. To get an idea of codes, procedures, and laws, the U.S. Department of Labor’s
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an excellent resource to refer to when
creating your fire evacuation plan.
When creating your fire evacuation plan, it may be helpful to make a checklist of your
evacuation plan, ensuring it adheres to easy-to-read safety laws and codes, as well as any extra
information you’d like to include. Once your checklist has been made, it’s time to compile your
evacuation procedures into an easy-to-read, comprehensible, and accessible list. A safe and
orderly exit from the facility is of priority, so having clearly marked and unobstructed exits is
imperative in conducting the evacuations. In addition to having clearly marked exits, your fire
evacuation procedure list should be permanently posted in your facility; examples of exit route
postings can be found in this OSHA fact sheet.

Maintaining Your Fire Evacuation Plan

From changes in floor arrangements to building renovations or expansions, many factors can
impact your fire evacuation plan. Reviewing your fire exit plan is an important step to stay up-to-
date with safety procedures and preparedness. When paired with a fire alarm and protection
system, you may need to consult with your provider to get an idea of sprinkler locations and any
training necessary. In addition to general training, it is important to ensure your evacuation plans
and postings continue to adhere to fire safety laws and regulations. Included in maintaining your
fire evacuation plan, it may be beneficial to conduct fire drills on a regular basis. Connect with
your local fire department to coordinate a fire drill schedule for your facility.

How Fire Alarm Monitoring Systems May Be an Asset

Early fire detection via fire alarms, sprinklers, or suppression systems may be an asset to your
efforts in evacuation, as they aim to signal the need for evacuation. Selecting the right system

for your facility is a significant decision that may have a large impact on your facilities.
Conducting research on systems and fire company service offerings such as monitoring
services, maintenance, repair, and more is a great first step to take. At IFP, we aim to be the fire
safety provider to take care of all of your needs.
To request a quote or to get in touch with an IFP team member, contact us here or at 256-562-
1311.