Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
What is your plan for evacuation in your float center if there’s a fire? What if there’s a tornado? Earthquake? Blackout? These are important things to figure out when operating your small business. If you have staff, it’s a good idea to review your emergency policies regularly. Make sure that your practices are in place in writing and you review them personally.
Graham and Ashkahn share their thoughts on how best to handle these things in a float center while making sure to consider specific issues not present in other industries.
OSHA Safety Meeting Requirements vary by State, so be sure to review them and make sure you’re in compliance.
(The Secret Knock to Ashkahn’s room is the Konami Code, using 1 knock for B and 2 knocks for A).
Listen to Just the Audio
Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Ashkahn: Welcome, Got Ashkahn, standing over here feeling pretty good about what’s going on today.
Graham: Yep, got the old Graham-slam on the other mic. And, uh…
Ashkahn: How’s he feeling’?
Graham: Oh, feeling’ great.
Graham: Got a good question today too, yah.
Graham: “Any help to develop plans for evacuation in case of a fire? Zenned out, salty naked people don’t act well in emergencies.” The second one was a very definitive statement. Makes me feel like they’ve already had an emergency in their float centers.
Ashkahn: They might act alright, it’s because they have a protective layer of water on them, makes them feel invulnerable to fire.
Ashkahn: They’re too confident, that’s the problem.
Graham: Yeah, I know that’s, I understand it too; just dive right in too.
Ashkahn: That’s a good point, that pretty much wraps this whole argument up.
Graham: So if you have questions of your own, go on down to.
Ashkahn: So what, yeah, I mean this is a real question.
Graham: Oh, I’m sorry, I started joking about things.
Ashkahn: We shouldn’t be making light of this, we shouldn’t be making light of this, because it honestly just to get us serious here for a second. When we go to conferences for health inspectors, or when you look at regulations that are starting to pop-up; this is part of it. You know, this emergency plans are a big part of what the health departments and regulators, and the public is expecting of us. As a business where people are in a more difficult position, to just run out of the door as soon as they hear a fire alarm or something.
Graham: We have a lot of electronics surround a bunch of salty water, so, you know being concerned about.
Ashkahn: And we’re putting people into sound proof rooms, there’s a lot of stuff in there that makes it so that this is not just like a retail store; where we could follow pretty normal protocol. But, even those places, this is kind of good preparation for a lot of businesses, is having some sort of emergency response plan, and it is a question that if you’re under regulations that you may very likely get asked. They may want to see documentation of your emergency plans.
Graham: Yeah, and I mean for almost any building that you’re going to be building out of float center, already during the building planning process, you will have had to lay out your fire escape lines, and the nearest possible exit from the farthest point in your building, to a door. There’s just somethings to getting your building permits, where some of this stuff is, a little bit baked in. Or, you know, if you don’t have an exit near the furthest point in your float center. You’ll have to install a sprinkler system, they, understandably the building department also has this concern in mind. But, you know, having those things and having them done them years ago when you first set up your float center; doesn’t mean you don’t have an active fire evacuation plan on hand that your staff would ever know about or anything like that. It just means, hopefully your building, is designed with some of this stuff in mind or they wouldn’t even let you pass to open up.
Ashkahn: Yeah, like alarms will start going off, and exit signs will be lit up.
Graham: Exactly, and you won’t have someone that’s 500 feet from the nearest door. So, okay, what does that look like, when you’re making an evacuation plan for people? I mean, it definitely involves getting together with your entire staff, and making sure that you’re briefing everybody on what safety is and thinking about what people are going to do. I mean, to be honest, I think one of the best ways to come up with a solid plan, after education yourself and, you know, the fire department has resources for this too. You can talk to a fire marshal, and they can walk you through some things that you might want to keep in mind, but incorporate the staff members.
You know, sit down and actually chat about it at one of your meetings; and see what they think, you know, what’s the best way to get people out of a float room if there is a fire and an emergency and you need to make sure you’re evacuating a building. And get some buy-in from them, it’s you know, the more they’re actually engaging with this topic and thinking about it as you’re going along, the better the ideas are going to stick. And honestly the better the ideas are going to be if you incorporate everyone in the process of planning.
Ashkahn: And some stuff sounds really obvious, but, you know when you’re in an emergency situation. Just having gone over even something obvious beforehand will probably mean that you can act with more instinct, and less hesitation. Just saying, just kind of saying like, hey, go into each room and make sure. Don’t play the music and hope people come out, bust in the room and make sure everyone knows to get out of the building. Or, call the police if there’s some sort of incident going on. Like, just going over stuff that, in our calm state of mind sounds like, were you to think about it; sounds like the obvious thing to do. That, you know having that baked into people’s brains somewhere will hopefully mean that there is a less chance they won’t do something illogical when they’re actually faced with an emergency situation.
Graham: So, that said, as far as actual tips go. You know, I mean, I think one of the best things that you can do is have really easy to pick, one way locks going into the room; and make sure that your staff members actually practice that. This is something that we’ll do occasionally at our meetings as well, is have people practice picking the locks, so that hopefully if an emergency comes up; they’re not fumbling around there and unable to get into people’s rooms or anything like that. But, can easily, what are they called, safety locks is that they’re called?
Ashkahn: And sometimes I’ve even seen float centers with, a little keypad combination.
Graham: Sure, just as like a little back up for them to be able to get in there.
Ashkahn: Yeah, so that it’s not like, you don’t have to grab a tool, or you can just kind of pump in a number and get into someone’s room if you need to.
Graham: Yes, so something like that where yes, you don’t actually have to physically break down a door, but you can immediately get into a room, is very important. And, I mean, that I think is just one of the biggest things that you can do. Obviously having other things, you know, fire extinguishers around and accessible.
Ashkahn: Yes, I mean a lot of stuff, like robes in your room for people to wear, to be able to get out of there quickly. A lot of float centers have that anyway.
Graham: Yep, and then policies of, if people don’t understand what’s going on, or they’re taking too long to get dressed. You know, really encouraging them to get into robes, kind of I guess like, the client counseling side of things? Like how to make sure that people are getting ushered out of the rooms quickly, rather than just left to their own devices or something like that might be good. Yeah, again I mean, I guess it gets a lot more into details from there. The only really technical one that I can think of is the entryway to the door and making sure that you, or your staff has really easy access in there, is kind of one of the essentials.
Ashkahn: Yes, and I guess that, I don’t know this kind of expands to other emergencies too. We just did a CPR training with all of our staff, by just kind of training for a couple different facets of emergencies. Whether it’s some sort of natural disaster, some sort of medical condition or issue where you want to encourage people to call the police quickly, or you know be able to do some sort of preventative thing like CPR in the meantime. Or, even something as simple as a blackout, what do you do if your power goes out? People are in the float tanks, it’s not, as much of an emergency in terms of deciding something in a split second. But, it’d be nice to have a plan, and not have to at that moment start figuring out what to do. You can’t play music for people, and lights wouldn’t come on in the room and, they can’t even tell, because it’s already like a blackout in there in the float tank. So, even less emergency, but unusual or unexpected situations are good things to go over.
Graham: And, yes I mean, I guess again; I’ll leave you with, actually go over these things. Because, just having them planned out and written down doesn’t do a lot, even if everyone says that they read them. And similarly, actually, having a good place where they are written down for access is really nice. You know, in our Helm for Float On, we have an emergency section in our guide book. And so, really we try to put everything in our guide, so if there are any questions, people kind of get trained to go and look there. But for emergencies, yes, we have things for you know; what happens in case of natural disasters, what happens in case of more extreme customer complaints, what happens in this situation, what happens if the power goes out?
We have a pretty extreme entry on power going out, because it’s something we’ve had happened several times. But, yeah adding in a section for earthquakes, for fires, for the potential of flood for if you’re in an area that gets hurricanes or tornadoes; adding that in. Really, yes, all of those disasters and crazy things that can happen is great to go over. And it’s still going to be crazy, no matter how much you go over these things, when it happens it’s still going to be crazy. So, the more training you can get in there, the more easily accessible the information, hopefully make it a lot easier on your staff and could honestly be the difference between a really horrible situation, and one where everyone makes it out fine, so, like worthwhile to spend some time on.
Ashkahn: I think there’s even something like, here in the US, if you have more than 15 employees or something. OSHA wants you to have a safety committee.
Ashkahn: Something like that, the exact numbers I said might be approximations. But, somewhere, just above the scale of kind of very small business here in the United States. There’s actually some sort of requirement to have a safety committee, and some people just kind of talking about safety protocol in your business.
Graham: So we have a safety committee, which is cool. Glad we do. So that’s it, do your planning, there are great resources out there for other fire evacuation codes. And other than getting a bunch of salty people out of their float tanks, quickly and without panic, there’s not too much that’s different in our business from those other businesses. Anything else you got?
Ashkahn: Yeah, no sounds good.
Graham: I thought you meant, yeah you had a lot more. You gave me this look like, dude, you got like 10 minutes, yes. For your own questions, where do they go Ashkahn?
Ashkahn: Oh, they just go right on over to floattanksolutions.com/podcast
Graham: Or come knock on Ashkahn’s bedroom, in person, yes. We’ll spend even more time answering them.
Ashkahn: We’ll put the secret knock into the show notes for all of you.
Graham: Alright, thanks everyone.
Recent Podcast Episodes
Graham and Ashkahn kick off the New Year by discussing the things to consider when adding a float tank to an existing business. This is a fantastic episode to start with if you’ve already got a service-based business or are a practitioner looking to start up on your own and looking for ideas.
The boys talk about logistical considerations, the built-in advantages to adding on to an existing practice, as well as how nice it is to have a meatball sandwich after chilling out in a sensory reduced environment for an hour (Ashkahn has a serious one-track mind).
Graham and Ashkahn round out the end of the year by talking about all the naughty and nice things about having business partners.
It’s a shorter compilation today, which gives you plenty of time to talk to your own business partners about what you think about them!
The holidays are a busy time for float centers and it often means lots of new customers asking questions. This means it can be a really great time to brush up on the facts about floating. Fortunately we’ve formed a folio of fantastic studies for you to fancy. Feliz Navidad!
In every service business, there’s a running joke that someone likes that’s usually somehting along the lines of “this job would be great if it weren’t for all the customers!” (*cue laugh track and uproarious applause*), well, the boys have not shied away from talking about the difficult sides of running a shop like ours. We’ve got episodes about handling negative Yelp reviews, customers too intoxicated to float, and even what to do when it’s time to 86 a problematic client.
You can tell this episode was recorded a little while ago, really close to after we all got back from the Conference. The boys are a little tired today, but they still have lots to talk about.
Grashkahmn share their initial reactions to the Conference now that it’s being run by the industry as a non-profit. This is a nice episode especially if you’re looking for some insights on their behind-the-scenes perspective on this big industry event and how it has changed this year.
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