Preparing your business for bushfires

It’s not just residents that can be impacted by fire – bushfires can affect businesses as well.

 

If a bushfire starts near your business, you and your employees may be under pressure to ensure the safety of yourselves and others.

 

A written plan may save lives by helping you to stay focused and respond in the best possible way when you’re under pressure. Preparation may also help to minimise the loss of profits and get a business back up and running more quickly after the threat of fire has passed.

 

Things to do

 

  • an emergency kit which includes first-aid and supplies for up to three days. Make sure employees know where it is
  • staff who have first-aid qualifications and train further staff if needed
  • a list of contact details for staff members, including their emergency contact person

 

Business owners can download the FireReady App on to your mobile device and get official warnings and information at your fingertips.

 

As a business owner it is your responsibility to make sure you, your staff and clients are safe in the event of a fire. A clear and concise bushfire response and emergency plan that your staff know how to use will go a long way to making sure they are safe.

 

It is highly recommended you write down your bushfire response and emergency plan and practice it, including a back-up plan. The following checklist will help you prepare a plan tailored to your business.

 

You should decide on the following:

 

  • who will be in charge during a fire or an evacuation
  • evacuation routes and emergency assembly sites. Make sure to include routes and information for special needs and culturally and linguistically diverse groups, including visitors or tourists
  • how and who will communicate with employees and visitors during a fire
  • how and who will check that records and other business assets are safe
  • pay entitlements and leave arrangements for employees should they be stood down or told not to report to work because of a fire threat (and let them know in advance).

 

More advice about how to prepare for a bushfire can be found at Business Victoria .

 

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