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Revealed: The secret to evacuating your employees - and customers - safely

by , 20 May 2013
A fire broke out in Fourways' Broadacres Shopping Centre on Friday night at around 7pm. Luckily, all customers were safely evacuated and no serious injuries were reported, but two people were treated for smoke inhalation on the scene. This points to the importance of having a clear evacuation plan in place, to ensure the health and safety of your employees and customers alike. Here's what you'll need to include...

 
When a fire broke out at the Broadacres Shopping Centre in the north of Johannesburg on Friday night, two people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but no injuries were reported, says eNCA.
 
Luckily, all employees at the scene were swiftly evacuated and the fire was quickly contained, says EyeWitnessNews
 
That's why you need to make sure your employees know your evacuation plan well enough to evacuate the building safely if a fire breaks out, says FSPBusiness.
 
To do so, make sure there's a map or diagram of all the emergency evacuation routes and assembly points to evacuate the building as fast as possible, as well as a map or diagram of all emergency equipment, such as fire extinguishers, first aid boxes and any other emergency equipment to ensure your employees and customers' health and safety isn't compromised if there's an emergency, adds the Health and Safety Training Manual.
 
Update employee registers monthly so you know if anyone's missing after an evacuation!
 
In addition to including emergency instructions on your office notice board, you'll need to ensure your emergency notifications like registers are easily accessible to check that all employees have evacuated the building safety once they've assembled in the evacuation area, says the Health and Safety Training Manual.
 
Here's how to ensure your walk-in customers have also evacuated the building safely
 
It's also a good idea to get any customers who visit your premises to sign-in and sign-out at reception so you can keep track of whether they were also evacuated safety if there's an emergency while they're on the premises.
 
This way you'll be safe in the knowledge that all employees and customers are safe before emergency rescue teams take over to put out the fire and minimise harm to the building. 
 

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