Oct 17, 2014

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Each year, in the United States, there are approximately:

  • 6,000 fires in the workplace
  • 200 workers’ deaths and 5,000 injuries from office fires and explosions

(Cited from OSHA facts https://www.osha.gov/)

Read our blog How to Prevent That Spark for tips to prevent an office fire. But, in the event a fire at your workplace does occur, you should know how to get back on track to minimize your business losses.

Prep Employees to Work Remotely

Don’t be in a hurry to return to the office following a fire. Set your employees up to be able to work from home or at an alternative workplace. Keeping your employees healthy and safe should be your first priority. There may be lingering smoke within the building, which can have immediate consequences to an individual’s health.

Set up a Plan of Communication

Set up a website, or company page with the following information:

  • Timesheets or a place employees can time-in and out with their work hours
  • Discussion Boards (General Q&A, and Emergency Updates)
  • A place employees can update their own individual statuses and availabilities

Communication is crucial during an emergency. Be sensitive toward your employees during this time, and let them know you are doing your best to get things back to normal. Coordinate a work schedule with them, as some may not be able to hold their normal office hours.

Collect Contact Information

Keep an emergency file of all employees’ contact information, including:

  • Cell Phone Number
  • Landline or Alternative Number
  • Personal Email
  • Emergency Contacts

Keep this information in an offsite area. It might also be beneficial to include this information in one list to hand out to all employees, for them to keep at home.

Back it Up

Although it’s convenient to have everything stored on your computer, this may be destroyed in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Document the following (and more):

  • Inventory of supplies
  • Website Contacts
  • Passwords
  • Software Information
  • System Processes

Store this document in an offsite area, along with your employees’ emergency contacts, so that you may access it in the event your computer is destroyed.

Having a plan of action is vital to a business’ ability to survive and succeed after a disaster. Helping your employees prepare for disaster will help them to return to work faster, and, in turn, help restore your business more quickly and efficiently.