Fire & Evacuation Planning

You may be asking yourself – how do you even get started in developing a fire evacuation plan for your office? At Trupanion, we started with our local fire warden, who we found to be a wealth of information and a friendly resource. With his help and some additional research into our unique office environment, we learned a lot about how to get started. We encourage you to reach out to your local fire authority.

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Through our research and education, we learned that our local fire code requires that fire safety and evacuation plans be developed for a variety of occupancies. We have identified the following elements that need to be included in a pet-friendly office plan:

  • Preferred and alternative means of notifying employees of a fire or emergency.
  • Preferred and alternative means of reporting fires (and other emergencies) to the fire department or designated emergency response organization (i.e. who calls 9-1-1?).
  • Floor plans that include escape routes, locations of manual fire alarm boxes and portable fire extinguishers, and locations where employees should gather once evacuated.
  • Additional floor plans that include the location of all employees and pets that occupy the building.
    Note: all floor plans should be made available to rescue personnel upon arrival.
  • Identification and assignment of employees responsible for leading the evacuation of other employees and pets in their area. Procedures and protocols for these employees to follow during an emergency.
  • Protocols for pets left behind by their owners. (Trupanion has a “pet buddy” assigned to every pet. If the pet owner is unable to evacuate their pet, the pet buddy assumes the responsibility.)
  • A procedure for accounting for employees and pets after the evacuation has been completed.
  • Identification and assignment of employees responsible for emergency medical aid for other employees and pets.
  • Schedule for testing the evacuation plan.

Remember, fire safety and evacuation plans should be reviewed and updated annually or as necessitated by changes in staff, occupancy, or the physical arrangement of the building.

Checklist to help prepare employees and office managers on how to safeguard pets in case of an office fire
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A fire safety and evacuation plan has been developed and distributed to all office staff

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I have performed fire prevention training for all of my employees

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Protocols have been put in place for any office pets

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Specific employees have been identified and trained as employee and pet monitors

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An area (or several areas) away from the building has been identified as an assembly area

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Everyone in my office is familiar with the procedures for evacuation

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Specific employees have been identified and trained on proper use of fire extinguishers

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All office staff and their pets have performed and perfected a fire drill