If your business has grown tremendously and you’ve been able to expand your team significantly, then you will probably have to move your company to a beautiful, new (bigger) office. Great fun and a nice milestone as an entrepreneur. However, before you inaugurate the new office with a grand opening, don’t forget the following safety measures. Then you can be sure it will be safe from day one. Read on quickly!
As a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of your employees. In addition, you also want to prevent the material contents of your business from being damaged and unusable after a preventable accident. Therefore, fire prevention (Dutch: brandpreventie) is one of the first things you want to think about when you move into a new office building.
Legislation surrounding fire prevention
Fire prevention is an important concept that is very well regulated in Fire & Building Codes with all kinds of laws and guidelines that every type of building must comply with. This includes your new office building. Most of the responsibilities lie with the owner of the building, but as the user it’s also important to know how to evacuate, what the escape routes are etc.
Escape routes and fire alarms
If, despite all prevention measures, a fire should break out, it is very important that this fire gets extinguished as quickly as possible. Not only to bring your staff to safety, but also to minimize material damage. Therefore, make sure you have enough fire extinguishers (according to the Fire & Building Code) and store them in easily accessible places. Also have these fire extinguishers checked according to the regulations. In addition, an escape plan is necessary to get personnel to safety as quickly as possible. After all, you don’t want everyone searching for their own escape route and possibly coming into contact with smoke and/or fire.
Know what to do when your fire alarm malfunctions
Next to knowing what to do when there’s a fire, it’s also important to know what to do when for instance your fire alarm system or your sprinklers malfunction. In that case, you have to call the owner of the building and call for a fire watch (Dutch: brandwacht huren) to go patrol the office and ‘take over the duties’ of a fire alarm system. A fire watch will make sure you’re safe until the malfunctioning system is fixed.
Good luck with your new building and don’t forget to take your time to read through all the laws and regulations regarding fire prevention and safety!