A Chihuahua dressed like a fireman

You may be asking yourself – how do I even get started developing a fire evacuation plan for my 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 on our unique office environment, we learned a lot about getting started. We encourage you to reach out to your local fire authority.

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

  • Preferred and alternative means to notify employees of a fire or emergency.

  • Preferred and alternative means to report 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 who occupy the building.

  • Note: make sure all floor plans should are available to rescue personnel upon arrival.

  • Identify and assign employees to lead the evacuation of other employees and pets in their area. Procedures and protocols for these employees to follow during an emergency.

  • Develop a protocols for pets left behind by their owners. Trupanion assigns a “pet buddy” to every pet. If a pet owner is unable to evacuate their pet, their pet buddy assumes the responsibility.

  • A procedure to account for employees and pets after the evacuation is completed.

  • Identify and assign employees to be responsible for emergency medical aid for other employees and pets.

  • Schedule to regularly test the evacuation plan.

Remember, review and update fire safety and evacuation plans annually or as necessary by changes in staff, occupancy, or the physical arrangement of the building.