Special Topics in Safety Management

Fire Up a Comprehensive Fire Prevention Policy

Yesterday, we talked about OSHA-required fire prevention plans. Today, we turn our focus to workplace fire prevention policies. A comprehensive fire prevention policy backs up your emergency plans and formalizes your fire prevention program.

A clear, comprehensive, and well-communicated fire prevention policy is the foundation of any workplace fire prevention program and gives purpose and direction to fire prevention plans, procedures, and training.

Points to Cover

An effective fire prevention policy needs to cover a lot of important points. For example:

  • Alarm systems
  • Fire suppression systems, such as automatic sprinkler systems
  • Fire extinguishers (if you expect employees to use them to put out fires, you have to train them)
  • Common fire hazards
  • Fire reporting procedures
  • Evacuation procedures (everyone should know at least two exit routes from their work area in case one is blocked by fire)  
  • Safety precautions for preventing workplace fires  
  • Fire-fighting rules (when to fight, when to take flight)  
  • Fire safety training (what, when, who, and how often)  
  • Emergency response teams (fire brigades, emergency shutdown procedures, medical emergency first responders, etc.)

Does your fire prevention policy contain all of OSHA’s requirements? Do you even have one? If not, we do, and it’s already written and ready to use, along with every other safety policy you’re likely to need, in BLR’s Essential Safety Policies. Examine it at no cost and with no obligation to purchase. Get details here.

Don’t Forget Fire Drills

Your policy should also include procedures for regular fire drills. Fire drills should be conducted once every 6 to 12 months, depending on the needs of the facility. After the fire drill, an employee briefing should be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the drill. Remember that the purpose of drills is to train workers to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a workplace fire.

When including fire drill procedures in your fire prevention policy, consider key issues such as:

  • Frequency of drills
  • Location of fire drill maps and instructions (for example, you might want to consider dividing your facility into quadrants or giving each department an evacuation map with posted exits and escape routes)
  • Supervisors’ responsibilities during a fire drill
  • The signal for a fire drill
  • Acceptable amount of time for complete evacuation
  • Whether the drill will be planned or spontaneous (planned evacuations are appreciated by employees, but spontaneous evacuations will more accurately measure evacuation readiness)

Get the safety policies you need without the work. They’re in BLR’s Essential Safety Policies program. Try it at no cost and no risk. Find out how.

Make Fire Prevention a Priority

Preventing the injuries and destruction that so often result from workplace fires must be a priority for all employers. And that means having a comprehensive fire prevention policy. BLR’s Essential Safety Policies provides you with all essential information about fire prevention policies, along with sample policies in strict, standard, and progressive versions.

You can use these policies “as is” or adapt them to your organization’s particular needs and style. 

And Essential Safety Policies doesn’t stop there—it gives you a detailed list of other important things to consider when you implement these policies, such as the level of fire danger in your organization, interrelation with other policies and laws, and much more.

Take these kinds of materials and multiply them by more than two dozen key safety topics, and you’ll know why Essential Safety Policies is such a valuable tool for busy safety professionals. These policies provide a ready-to-modify or use-as-is safety handbook for all your workers, with minimal effort on your part.

The policies are backed by a tutorial on policy writing and essential materials such as handbook receipts. A CD version is also available.

If your organization could benefit from supplementing (or perhaps having for the first time) a complete set of ready-to-use safety policies, we highly recommend a 30-day, no-cost, no-obligation look at this program. Go here and we’ll be pleased to send it to you.

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