For building owners, one of the most crucial aspects of the job is ensuring the safety of tenants, visitors and property managers. Ensuring your building is compliant with OSHA and other local, state and federal regulations by creating an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and Life Safety Plans (LSP) that do more than meet minimum requirements is a great first step towards achieving that. However, despite the immense power that an EAP and LSP hold, without proper training, your tenants stand a good chance of still not knowing what to do during a true emergency. If you go to assemble a piece of Ikea furniture without the instructions, you are likely to be lost. It’s the same with emergency preparedness. Training your tenants goes a long way when trying to ensure their safety. Of course, when it comes to safety knowing if the property is lease or freehold can have an impact on who is responsible should anything go wrong. Landlords therefore have a huge responsibility to their tenants. With this in mind I have outlined a few helpful tips to give you more insight on how to train your tenants for any emergency situation.
- Go Back to Basics – Don’t just assume that your tenants know all the basics of emergency preparedness and skip over it. You would be surprised at how little people actually know about how to properly respond to emergencies. If you skip over the basics, there is a good chance that the rest of the information might get lost in translation as well. Human error accounts for a large majority of all additional damage caused during an emergency. By taking the extra time to revisit the basics with your tenants, there’s a significantly larger chance that the emergency will be handled with more efficiency.
- Train Tenants Frequently – Many property managers and tenants view training as a pain. It can be time-consuming to bring together hundreds of people for an hour or more. However, in order to ensure that knowledge of procedures and policies remains current, trainings should be held at least annually. A great alternative to holding in person trainings is to utilize interactive, online-based trainings, such as the ones offered by Preparis. With online-based trainings, tenants will have the ability to complete the training courses on their own time, with the option to track training progress.
- Encourage Tenant Training Participation – Make sure that you are encouraging tenants to participate in all training efforts for the building so that they are able to respond in a positive manner in the event of an emergency. This might mean providing donuts after a fire drill or a lunch-and-learn style training session on emergency preparedness. Get creative in order to encourage tenants to take accountability for their safety through education and participation. Watch Preparis’ “Emergency Action & Fire Prevention Planning for Multi-Tenant Environments” webinar for additional tips on how to encourage tenant training participation.
To learn more about emergency preparedness for commercial real estate, register for Preparis’ “Not Your Average Emergency Preparedness Plans: A Webinar for Commercial Real Estate.”
To learn more about how Preparis can help assist your property with emergency preparedness and life safety, click here.
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