Emergency Preparedness when Working from Home

It is important to be prepared for every emergency when working from home. The first step is to find out what the emergency telephone numbers are for the area you are working in and to make sure that the numbers are available.Post the emergency telephone numbers on or near all telephones. The national emergency telephone number is 10177.

Make sure that the fire escape routes are safe. Make sure that emergency evacuation procedure plans are in place. Install an alarm system or have a panic button. Every employee working from home needs to have adequate training to be prepared for every emergency, be it fire or first aid or a security breach.

The aim of an emergency plan is to prevent death or injury in emergency situations by having a plan in place. If there is a plan in place and the plan has been rehearsed regularly. This is the only way to make sure that everyone can be evacuated safely.

Revise or update the emergency plans regularly and definitely when changes are made to the structure of the building. The plan must give enough information so that everyone knows what they must do in an emergency, e.g. if the alarm goes off where must each group gather to wait for further instructions.

Fire Fighting-and Paramedic Teams should have clear access to the premises in the event of a fire that was reported to the Fire Brigade. A medical emergency requiring a paramedic team or Ambulance that was dispatched should also have Clear access.

Post fire escape plans in a prominent location (notice boards, toilets and change rooms) on every level. Ensure everybody on the premises are familiar with the evacuation procedure exit locations, escape routes and fire extinguisher locations. Regular fire drills should be conducted. Make provisions for safe evacuation by appointing someone to assist them. Appoint and train a fire warden on each level of the building to ensure safe evacuation and ongoing safety programs.

Once the evacuation has taken place, the evacuation team must assemble the groups of people and make sure that everyone is present and accounted for. If there were any injuries, the evacuation team must notify the necessary emergency personnel.