Do you Have a HOT Fire Escape Plan?

Do you Have a HOT Fire Escape Plan?

Did you realize that roughly 200 workplace fires occur every day in the U.S.?

Would employees and visitors to your workplace know how to exit quickly if they needed to evacuate?

If (hopefully not when) a fire breaks out at work, there is no time for confusion and chaos: You and your co-workers and customers need to get out of the building as soon as possible. Here are some things you can do to help reduce the loss of property or worse, life, in your store in the event of a fire.

Create a fire prevention plan for your facility.

Create a plan that calls attention to safe exits as well as fire extinguishers and other fire equipment. Review the plan monthly with all your employees to refresh their memory of where exits and fire equipment are located. How and where to exit the building should be second nature and not something that needs be thought about. Make sure to instill in all employees that while exiting the building is paramount, don’t panic and if it’s safe, do a “sweep” of their immediate area and along the exit route to look for customers or other employees that may need assistance. You don’t want to leave anyone behind. Have a designated meeting place outside the building to facilitate taking a head count to make sure everyone is accounted for and to relay information to the emergency responders if needed.

Monthly Inspection

Have a schedule and designate an employee to inspect everything in your facility that relates fire emergencies. This includes making sure Fire & Emergency signs are properly lit, working and unobstructed. Check the expiration date on all fire extinguishers and make sure they are not permanently strapped to the wall for easy retrieval. Verify that fire exits are not blocked or locked to inhibit exit from inside the building. Check that the fire department key access box is not damaged or missing. (Box on the exterior of your building containing a master key to the facility that only emergency services have access to. Known and a KNOX Box) Lastly, verify that fire response systems are in working order, like detection equipment linked to your alarm system and the water to the fire suppression system is turned on. Verify that hazardous or flammable material areas or cabinets are properly secured.

Keep a List

Have a list of areas or materials of concern during a fire that you can give to emergency responders. This can include where in the building flammable or explosive materials are kept and what those materials are. It’s ideal to have this list printed on a small laminated card that you can include in the KNOX Box on the exterior of the building.


Although not all fires are preventable, it is possible to prepare for all fires. The main objective in a fire emergency is to get everyone out safely. Taking the proper steps to prepare in advance will make a quick and effective response a reality if it’s ever needed.



Jef Spencer

HFA Operations

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