Prepare Your Business for a Fire

Fires are the most common disaster that the Red Cross responds to and also the most preventable.  Businesses need to take a few simple precautions to avoid tragedies, such as having working smoke alarms on every level of their property and having fire escape plans in place to help get everyone out of the building safely.  The American Red Cross recommends the following when creating your escape plan:

  • Identify two ways to escape from every room in the building.
  • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
  • Select a safe location away from the building where your business can meet after escaping. 
  • Consider purchasing and storing escape ladders for rooms above ground level and make sure to learn how to use them.
  • If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out.  
  • If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke. 
  • Before escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it.  If it is warm, use your second escape route.  
  • If smoke, heat or flames block both of your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed.  Place a rolled towel underneath the door.  Signal for help by waving a brightly colored cloth or shining a flashlight at the window.  If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and let them know your exact location inside the building. 
  • Once you've escaped, stay out