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Why is it Important to Keep Emergency Exits Clear?

By November 29, 2016Fire Safety News

We all know that in the event of a fire to avoid using elevators, instead opting for the emergency fire exits and stairwells. What happens, though, if the emergency exits are blocked? No one can get out! Whether you operate a business, or a residential building, fire safety is key. It is a nightmare scenario for anyone, no one ever wants to be in a position where in the event of an evacuation situation there are blocked paths and exits.

So, not only should fire exits be part of your morning path to ensure that they are clear, but they should be checked regularly throughout the day.

Employees tend to forget about the exits, they become part of their normal surroundings and are frequently obstructed as they work, whether by boxes or stock, or equipment. It only takes seconds for a fire to start, so it’s never acceptable to block them for any length of time. Especially when you consider that an employee could be called away at any time.

In the event of a fire there will not be time to unblock emergency exits in order to escape a burning building. While any exit can be used to leave a building in an emergency, emergency exits are placed strategically to ensure people can leave quickly, and without great risk to their health; it doesn’t take long for smoke inhalation to overcome a person.

Fire safety enforcement is the responsibility of management, and part of that responsibility lies in fully training employee to be proactive about fire safety.

 

Fire Protection Tips

There are a number of tips you can follow to help you and your employees stay safe when it comes to fire protection, Toronto:

  1. Know your exits. Your building should have an emergency plan in place, where each emergency exit is located throughout the building (and where everyone meets after exiting the building). New employees or extended visitors should have a fire tour so that they are familiar with the nearest fire exits to where they will be working. Building occupants should be in the habit of either memorizing the routes, or making themselves familiar with the area they will be in.
  2. Be proactive. Train your employees to be proactive about fire safety, ensure that they understand the risks involved with leaving anything in front of an emergency exit, even for 30 seconds. Just because it was done once without incident, does not mean something can’t happen. In addition, the risk implications, there could be a fine levied against the business. Knowledge is power, and informed employees are more likely to observe safety rules if they understand the possible outcomes to not following rules and regulations.
  3. Part of the daily management path should include checking all fire exits, but empowering your employees to do the same would behove you. It only takes a second for someone to come along and leave an obstruction, so by instilling a sense of ownership among employees is beneficial to everyone. Each employee could be made responsible for checking the emergency exits in their area of the building. Any obstructions should be cleared immediately and reported to a manager.
  4. Join in. Being a part of a safety committee or local warden team can be of great benefit to you. Not only does it offer you the chance to exchange ideas and thoughts, but you will be aware of new information immediately.

“While enforcement is the responsibility of management, health and safety is the responsibility of everyone in the building. It is in everyone’s best interest to keep the workplace safe by following simple rules. Contact Steadfast Safety Services for your fire protection in Toronto.”