After a recent electrical fire in an office adjacent to ours in Austin, I felt it worth giving some advice on basic office emergency preparedness.
Every office building should have an emergency exit route graphically displayed near the stairs and elevators. Make sure all employees know where fire extinguishers are located. Each office should develop an exit route with a rally point a safe distance away from the building to account for all staff once evacuated.
Onsite emergency backups should have a quick disconnect or be ready to be evacuated at any time. One person should be assigned the responsibility of retrieving this upon exit. A backup person should also be designated.
During our event, it became apparent that all important files and electronic equipment should be at least 3 inches off the floor. In our case, the sprinkler system was activated in the adjacent suite which flooded the floors of all the surrounding offices. Keeping computers and files up off the floor allowed us to avoid costly losses of files and data.
It should also be noted that your local fire department should conduct inspections and fire drills at your office building at least once a year.
No one likes to think about it, but a little preparation can result in significant savings of life and property.