Fire Evacuation Plan for Your Business

As a business or workplace, you are responsible for both the safety of employees and customers. It’s important that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire or emergency.

Identify hazards – The first and best course of action is to inspect your building for potential fire hazards. These can include dangerous use of electronics like space heaters or cables, cooking areas, and heating sources. As the business owner, you should implement rules and best practices like posting no-smoking signs and refusing to allow space heaters, hot plates, or other potentially dangerous electronics. Make sure to communicate these hazards to all employees.

Getting started with an Emergency Plan – Identify the fire and life safety systems present—including smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire extinguishers and manual pull alarms. Consider the building occupants; are they familiar with the facility or is it a changing population, like customers? Make a list of concerns regarding the evacuation routes, special hazards associated with the business and special needs of employees or guests.

Create a map – Design a basic plan of each floor indicating all fire exits, manual pull stations and extinguishing equipment. Post the floor plan, mark location and the two nearest fire exits.

Develop evacuation procedures – Train employees to stop what they are doing and evacuate the building whenever the fire alarm sounds. Employees should exit via the stairs and move away from the building to the designated meeting spot.

Ensure that your meeting place is far enough away from the building to keep employees out of the way of firefighting activities and falling glass or debris. If an employee or customer is unable to negotiate exit stairs, they should enter the stair well with one or two assistants, securely close the door and wait on the landing for the fire department.

Schedule regular employee training – Training employees is the best way to prevent and prepare for the possibility of a fire, earthquake, or other emergency.

Practice your evacuation plan – Drills should be scheduled and conducted for all shifts and employees. Drills may be pre -announced or unannounced—either way, employees should duplicate as closely as possible the actions they would take if a fire, earthquake, or other emergency occurred.

Fire Extinguishers

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the #1 priority for occupants is to get out safely.

Fire extinguishers are required in the following occupancy types:

  • Ambulatory health care
  • Hotel and dormitory
  • Health care
  • Apartments
  • Industrial
  • Educational
  • Assemblies
  • Lodging and rooming
  • Storage
  • Businesses
  • Mercantile
  • Detention and correctional
  • Day care Occupancies in special structures
  • Residential board and care

The type, placement and amount of fire extinguisher(s) required in your workplace is determined by the type of business and materials found in the building. View the fact sheet below for more information on fire extinguisher location and placement.

Preparedness Planning for Your Business

Businesses and their staff face a variety of hazards:

  • Natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.
  • Health hazards such as widespread and serious illnesses like the flu.
  • Human-caused hazards including accidents and acts of violence.
  • Technology-related hazards like power outages and equipment failure.

There is much that a business leader can do to prepare their organization for the most likely hazards. The Ready Business program through helps business leaders make a preparedness plan to get ready for these hazards.

Community Connect

Community Connect enables your business, school, age-care facility or other public location to provide First Responders with critical information, valuable emergency plans and more notice in the event of an emergency incident.

Stay aware with notifications from First Responders through text messages in the event they are ever dispatched to your property.


Ensure that we have access to your gated business with the Knox Rapid Entry System. When a fire breaks out, or there is an emergency, Knox Box allows our firefighters and paramedics immediate entry into the building or property without the need for forced entry, or delay.

Please follow the instructions below to view a list of products that are compatible with our systems.

Visit, click on the “to see availability: Choose your local fire department agency” tab in the top left corner, select “Washington” from the Your Location drop down menu, type in “Pierce Co FPD #21/Graham Fire & Rescue” in the Local fire department/agency field, then click the “Search” button.