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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Creating An Exit Strategy For Your Commercial Building

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

You know that anything can happen during the course of even the most normal business day so it’s a smart move to be ready for whatever you might face. Your commercial property is an important investment, not only to you, but also to the people who work there, and as a smart business person, you want to protect that investment and the well-being of all involved. 

Having an exit strategy in place is a basic requirement for guarding lives and keeping people safe. As you are creating your exit strategy, think about the types of disasters that are most common to your area, as well as those that are not common or weather-related, such as human threat or fire.

Six important points to consider first are:

  • How will tenants and workforce members receive emergency alerts or warnings? An alarm system within the building might work best if your commercial building is composed of large shops or warehouses. If your property is an office, then perhaps a phone tree to contact each department or office individually would work best.
  • What kind of shelters are available onsite for people? For areas that experience tornadoes, for example, an area on the lowest floor or below ground that is constructed to withstand the highest wind forces will be necessary. 
  • What are the evacuation routes in your commercial building? Ensure that a map is posted in all public areas. It needs to be clear and labeled properly so that anyone can reference it and easily know where to go.
  • What is the communication plan? During the event and afterward, you will need to be able to communicate with your tenants so that they are updated concerning the state of your building. Your business will be discontinued so that the emergency can be handled, and they will want to know when it is safe and when they can exit shelters or re-enter the building and get back to work. Create a strategy where you can communicate with everyone in a timely and efficient way to prevent misinformation and confusion. Text messages could be the best course here, for example. 
  • Take special situations into consideration. It is a requirement that any exit strategy is tailored to individuals with any special needs, and you will want to think about older people and those that are impaired visually or in their hearing. Designating areas to gather ahead of time for having volunteers in place that can manage and oversee these situations will be helpful. If your commercial business houses sensitive equipment or machinery that is designed to save lives, this will need to be taken into consideration when dealing with emergency evacuation, as well. 
  • Create a complete guide for all tenants and members of the workforce who use your commercial building, outlining the information discussed above and including all templates, maps, and contact information, and place it online for easy access to all. 

SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is here to help in the event of any emergency or accident. We specialize in water and fire damage clean-ups no matter the size.

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