In the event of fire, a comprehensive emergency evacuation plan and procedure is an indispensable part of ensuring everyone escapes danger safely and quickly. To ensure that your business meets all the most stringent fire safety rules and legislation, you’ll need a thorough evacuation plan in place. This month, we’ll be looking at just some of the key areas you should consider when forming your own evacuation procedure.
Identify an Assembly Point
When you evacuate your premises following the fire alarm sounding, you need to head to an agreed assembly point. This should be far enough away from the building that staff and customers aren’t in danger of radiated heat or falling debris. The fire and emergency services must also have complete access to the building – your assembly point must bear this in mind.
Assign Fire Wardens
Nominate some members of your staff to become fire wardens. These individuals will receive fire safety training and will be responsible for ensuring that everyone evacuates the building safely. A part of this process is checking the toilets to make sure everyone has heard the alarm and carrying out a roll call at the assembly point.
Fire wardens are also competent in the use of a variety of fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, and know how to prevent fires, deal with small fires and identify potential fire hazards.
Provide Fire Safety Equipment
Fire extinguishers and fire alarms are just two forms of fire safety equipment that should be provided on your premises. Any equipment used for fighting fires, such as fire extinguishers, should be positioned appropriately around the premises; using them to actually fight fire, however, is only ever secondary to saving lives.
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)
You need to prepare for what you will do if a member of your staff or a visitor to your premises is disabled or has a sensory impairment that may make it difficult for them to evacuate of their own accord. Advice relating to specific disabilities and impairments can be obtained from organisations representing the various groups, and your plans should take this advice onboard. You must have adequate staff levels to cope with helping disabled people to evacuate the building. If you do not, you need a safe area behind fire doors where the unable can await rescue by the emergency services.
Identify Key Escape Routes
There should be multiple fire escapes on your premises – access to all of these escape routes must never be blocked. Along escape routes, fire retardant doors and other forms of fire safety equipment should be fitted. Signs throughout the building should show where the fire escapes are placed and how to get to them.
Create a Sound Evacuation Strategy and Share It with Your Team
All of the above are key aspects of a fire emergency evacuation plan, but all of the work will be for nought if you fail to tell your staff what they must do in the event of fire. Carry out regular fire drills and teach all new staff your evacuation plan. Also, make sure that you create and regularly reassess your evacuation plan with the assistance of a responsible person, such as the fire safety specialists here at Protect & Detect.
At Protect & Detect, we offer a range of services to ensure your property or business meets all fire safety regulations, including a comprehensive installation and safety check on fire extinguishers and fire detection devices in a variety of business fields. We can also assist you with creating a robust evacuation plan for your premises. For more information on our services, contact us today.