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Posts Tagged ‘fire prevention month’

Shake, Rattle, and….Prepare?

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Get ready to shake, rattle and roll.

The theme of many of our blogs is: “Are you prepared?” The reason for our keen focus on preparation is because history has shown us that the unpredictable will happen, and it probably won’t come with much advance warning. All we can do is prepare and plan. And history has taught us that proper planning before an earthquake can result in dramatic prevention of loss of life or property.

The Great California ShakeOut is an annual event that promotes earthquake preparedness for Californians. This year’s event is scheduled for October 21st, at 10:21 a.m. However, business and homeowners are encouraged to schedule activities of their own to mark the occasion, if timing of the official event is inconvenient.

So far, 6.5 million people and counting have registered to participate in this month’s ShakeOut. And there is still time to sign up. Encourage your team members and tenants to register and support this year’s ShakeOut, which is sharable via Facebook and Twitter, so you can encourage other business owners and managers to participate.

The scenarios and drills used in the ShakeOut are based on data from a hypothetical 7.8 magnitude quake on the San Andreas Fault. Results of the scenario are available in both a 24-page version and the full scientific 312-page version, courtesy of the USGS. You very likely won’t have time to read all 312 pages. But there is still much to glean from the main points of the exercise.

A free ShakeOut manual for business owners and managers provides suggestions for conducting drills to practice earthquake preparedness:

  • Drills cover, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” and other training that tenants can utilize in order to stay safe during a shaker.
  • The manual encourages actual interaction and discussion between tenants and drill organizers. Try to speak with people who actually work in the building. You might discover helpful suggestions and ideas for improving evacuation routes or supplementing a shortage of emergency kits.
  • Go viral! Owners can share photos and stories from this year’s drill at www.ShakeOut.org
  • Advanced drills are detailed, including a “Business Operations Simulation Drill,” which can test your company’s ability to manage a disaster. The drill includes simulations that simulate problems such as loss of electricity, lack of cell phone service, or blocked emergency exits. Advanced drills are intended to mirror real earthquake emergencies.

Another component to the ShakeOut is “Secure Your Space.” This initiative covers not only how unsecured filing cabinets and picture frames can turn into hazards, but also why it’s necessary to retrofit buildings and adhere to proper codes.

Similar to our last blog, which covered “Fire Prevention Week”, this post about the Great Shakeout is a good opportunity to raise immediate awareness about the subject. But real safety preparedness and planning involves more than information that can be covered in a single day. It’s great to promote awareness initiatives like the Shakeout to increase tenants’ exposure to safety issues, but be sure to have frequent refresher sessions and reminders about lessons learned. Knowledge about safety is useless it’s put into practice. So make sure proper procedures are followed.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Getting Involved With Fire Prevention Week

Monday, October 4th, 2010
This Year For Fire Prevention Week, Thank a Firefighter!

This Year For Fire Prevention Week, Thank a Firefighter!

Fire is a frequent topic of safety discussions because it is a primal force that strikes fear in the heart of man and beast. It is also a relatively common occurrence compared to other disasters, and can cause severe damage to people as well as structures.

Raising awareness about fire safety is a priority of fire departments. October 3-9 is the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) official Fire Prevention Week. The NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for nearly 90 years, and has made great strides in the area of fire safety for the public.

It took a great tragedy to encourage the development of a week dedicated to fire safety. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire roared through Chicago, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless and 17,000 structures destroyed. While most people believe a cow started the fire, many historians note other possible culprits. Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the fire, and marked the start of fire departments’ role in education and prevention, in addition to the physical acts of fighting fires.

Fire Prevention Week reinforces the basics of fire safety to the public. The theme of this years’ Fire Prevention Week is Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With! The NFPA is making a big push for smoke alarms to be installed, properly upgraded and maintained in residential and commercial buildings.

The NFPA has several initiatives for this years’ Fire Prevention Week which are offered to fire departments and other similar agencies for fire education initiatives:

Video Tutorials and Audio PSAs:

  • A video about smoke alarm safety includes information about the benefits of interconnecting alarms, testing alarms, checking for expiration dates and regularly replacing batteries.
  • Downloadable MP3 audio files that discuss fire alarm safety.

How can building owners participate in Fire Prevention Week?

  • Distribute free safety materials from the NFPA, FEMA and other agencies
  • Review your overall fire safety plan including evacuation routes, location of extinguishers, rules on stairwell and elevator usage, etc.
  • Invite your local fire department to fire safety activities. Firefighters are sometimes willing to conduct special events such as parades. Organize an interactive event where employees and facility management can speak directly to firefighters.

Fire Prevention Week is an opportunity for building owners to engage staff and employees in preventing the threat of fire. To learn more about fire safety, review the many fire-related topics that we have covered in previous posts, including: fire evacuation procedures, flammable materials, extinguishers and sprinkler systems, and fire hazards.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.