While doing some research we found this great article (on manufacturing.net by the Zurich Insurance Group) on the importance in creating a pre-fire plan in manufacturing plants and warehouses. According to Cindy Slubowski, vice president and head of manufacturing at Zurich, a commercial property and casualty insurance provider. “Most fires are preventable, and the risks can be reduced dramatically.”
Zurich North American goes on to write and recommend (S&S couldn’t agree more) that factory owners and plant managers take these five important steps to help prevent and decrease future fire risk:
1) Gather information – Accumulate property and tenant data. Note any unoccupied floors, alarm system details, hydrant availability, information on fire protection equipment and heating and cooling systems, and quantities and locations of hazardous materials. List all tenant locations and their contact information, descriptions of their businesses, hours of operation, when they are on site, and if they have employees with specific rescue needs.
2) Document and publish information – Develop written plans that are easy to understand, accessible and regularly updated. Include property and tenant data, as well as maps and diagrams that reflect the building’s construction (size, height and fire-rated walls) and the surrounding property’s configuration. Include blueprints, floor plans and aerial photographs. Publish the information in binders, on your server and in the cloud for electronic access.
3) Host building walk-throughs – Periodically invite the fire department to visit. Direct knowledge of a building may help save lives and minimize damage. Inspections and walk-throughs are especially important in complex buildings and neighborhoods predominantly served by volunteer firefighters because officers frequently change.
4) Practice, practice, practice – Conduct regular drills to teach employees exit strategies in the event of a fire. Everyone should know how to safely reach the exits during an evacuation. Employees should meet outside at a pre-determined location so a head count can be taken.
5) Assign tasks – Owners and occupants are just as vital to a pre-fire plan as fire departments. Appoint fire wardens who will evacuate building occupants during a fire. Also appoint people likely to be in the building at all hours to notify the fire department in an emergency.
Click here to read full article on manufacturing.net
The NFPA estimates that it costs U.S. Plants 1 billion dollars a year in fire loss. At S&S we agree with Zurich that consulting with your insurance provider (and your fire protection company), installing the proper fire sprinkler / suppression system and committing to implementing a comprehensive fire prevention and safety plan is smart for employee safety, property protection, and your financial bottom line.
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