How do facility and people managers keep fire safety drills from being routine?
October is Fire Safety Month, and many facility and human resource managers are dutifully planning fire drills and other activities aimed at raising awareness. For many, fire safety is the theme for every October, and has been, and will continue to be.
While regular fire drills are a key component of a safety plan, they can also be a risk if they become too routine. Participants may begin to take them less seriously or even avoid them altogether.
At the same time, you don’t want to amp up drills so radically that cause undue stress or panic among participants and actually place them at greater risk. Remember that fire drill scene from The Office? Let’s not do that.
How can we innovate new ways to keep safety routines like fire drills from being boring? Here are a few ideas from myself and the ECT Services crew:
Hold surprise drills throughout the year. Don’t wait for October to roll around. Hold surprise drills on different days of these week and different times of the day throughout the year.
Make it a challenge. Offer a performance incentive for the team that exits the most safely and efficiently. The incentive doesn’t even have to be significant; maybe it’s a t-shirt or other company swag, gift certificates, a “travelling trophy” that makes it way to the most safe and efficient team the next time you have a drill.
Add elements that simulate conditions. I really like this tip I picked up from this blog: during the drill, have training leaders pop up with signs that declare “this exit blocked by fire.” Without too much panic or disruption, participants will be challenged to rethink their routine and explore new options.
Need innovative solutions for your fire safety and other building systems? ECT Services is here to help.