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A Guide to Office Fire Safety

Last Updated: June 7, 2013

If you work in an office building in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, or Alabama, there are basic steps you should take to help ensure your safety and survival if you should ever be caught in a fire or other critical situation and you need to evacuate the building. Every building has unique characteristics—in terms of its design, construction, condition, and use. Consequently, these fire safety tips highlight only the basics of emergency evacuation.

To learn more, call State Systems at 901-531-6550 or keep reading.

What Should You Know Before an Emergency Occurs?

  • Understand and practice the building emergency evacuation plan.
  • Identify and practice the way to at least two escape routes from your workstation to the designated gathering place.
  • Count and remember how many desks or cubicles and doors are between your workstation and the two nearest exits—you may need to exit in the dark.
  • Know the location of the nearest fire alarm, know how to use it, and be familiar with its signal.
  • Recognize the sights and sounds of fire and emergency evacuation alarms.
  • Never block exits with furniture, equipment, materials, or trash.
  • Never block stairway doors open and keep all stairways and landings clear. Nothing can be placed or stored in stairways.
  • Document who to contact and how to contact them at the time of an emergency.
  • Report blocked exits and damaged or nonfunctioning building safety systems.

What Should You do During an Emergency?

  • Listen carefully for instructions over the building emergency public address intercom system.
  • Evacuate immediately, quickly, and calmly—following posted evacuation instructions and the building emergency evacuation plan.
  • Move directly to the nearest fire and smoke free exit stairwell. If the nearest stairwell is obstructed by smoke or fire, use your alternate escape route. Be aware that the only available exit route may contain limited amounts of smoke or fire.
  • Crawl low under smoke to breathe cleaner air if there is a fire.
  • Test doors for heat before opening them by placing the back of your hand against the door. Do not open a hot door—find an alternate exit route. Keep fire doors closed to slow the spread of smoke and fire.
  • Avoid using elevators when evacuating a burning building.
  • Report to the designated gathering place and make your presence known. If coworkers are still inside, immediately notify emergency personnel.
  • Do not attempt to re-enter the building to rescue coworkers. Stay out of the building until EHS, police, or fire officials say it is safe to re-enter.

What to do if You Are Unable to Evacuate

  • If you cannot escape safely, remain calm and protect yourself by closing as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
  • Seal all cracks where smoke can enter by using wet materials—such as jackets, towels, etc.
  • If there is a telephone in the room where you are trapped, call 911 immediately and tell them exactly where you are.
  • If possible, wait at a window and signal for help by waving an object that can be seen from the outside.
  • Open a window for air—if possible—but do not break it as you may need to close the window if smoke rushes in.
  • Remain calm while waiting for emergency personnel to rescue you.

If you have any further questions or want more details on any of these office fire safety tips, contact State Systems today. We have a strong reputation in TN, AR, and MS as a leading fire protection service provider.

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