2 Your Fire Evacuation Plan Every business should have a fire evacuation plan that is tailored to the company, building and employees. Please use this as a guide and amend in relation to your own premises and procedures.
3 Purpose of a Fire Evacuation Plan A fire evacuation plan helps to ensure the safe evacuation of and accounting for persons from a premise or location in the event of a fire.The purpose of a fire evacuation plan is to ensure that adequate arrangements are in place for a safe evacuation of all employees and other persons that may need to leave the area or premises in the event of a fire.
4 Fire Evacuation Elements A fire evacuation plan should include, as a minimum, details on:Keeping an up-to-date RegisterActions employees should take on discovering a fireHow employees will be warned (alarm systems)Evacuation of the buildingIdentification of escape routesFire Fighting equipmentDuties of employees with specific responsibilitiesSafety of visitors/contractors/people with disabilitiesContacting and liaising with the fire brigade10. Roll Call11. Maintenance12. Staff training
5 1. Keeping an Up-to-Date Register It’s imperative that a list of people in the building is kept up-to-date on a daily basis. This is crucial to ensure everyone is accounted for in the event of a fire.Create a register that employees have to tick to show their attendance daily, and keep a separate one in the reception area for visitors.
6 2. Upon Discovering a Fire Immediately operate the nearest alarm call-pointAttack the fire if possible, with appliances available, without taking personal risksFire action notice signs should be displayed at fire call points, exits, on notice boards and in communal areas such as staff rooms to communicate with employees
7 3. Warning Others How will people be warned in there is a fire? Every employer must ensure that they have an appropriate system or arrangements for raising the alarm in the event of a fire or upon discovery of a fire.This can range from the absolute minimum of a person discovering a fire shouting “Fire” to raise the alarm to a fully automatic system with detectors placed in strategic locations that activate the alarm sounders, close ventilation ducts, open smoke vents, close fire doors, trigger fire suppression equipment and alert a monitoring facility or the fire brigade direct via dedicated phone lines.The type of system required will be dependent on the circumstances of the premises and the nature of the activities undertaken on the premises.For example:a hotel may require an alarm system with smoke detection in bedrooms, rate of rise heat detection in the kitchen and heat detection in boiler rooms that activate the sounders throughout the building ora small motor vehicle repair garage may only require an employee to shout fire, ensure everyone has heard and then use the nearest phone to contact the emergency services.The electrical fire alarm system will sound on operation of the manually operated alarm call-point.
8 4. Evacuation of the Building Everyone in the building should leave the building by the nearest exitClose all doors behind youReport to the designated fire assembly point
9 5. Identification of Escape Routes Escape routes are the routes that persons will take to safely evacuate a premises or location and reach a place of safety away from a fireThese routes may have some level of protection, e.g. partitioning and fire doors to hold back the fire whilst persons are evacuating and may be internal to a building or external.SignageSignage is essential in a fire evacuation plan to ensure that individuals know which are the safe routes for evacuating a premise, raising the alarm, using fire fighting equipment etc. Therefore Escape Routes should be signed indicating direction of travel, and emergency exits with a push bar should be signed indicating how to open the door.Emergency LightingEmergency lighting is provided in situations where in the event of a fire the route to a place of safety may be made more difficult by smoke from the fire or where normal artificial lighting has failed as a result of the fire or other circumstances.There are two basic types of emergency lighting, Maintained and Non-Maintained:Maintained: this type of lighting is where the lighting units are illuminated all the time, are provided with a secondary power supply so that they remain illuminated upon failure of the mains electrical system. The secondary power supply may be internal to the luminaries, such as rechargeable batteries, or external such as a standby generator. These systems are typically used in places of public gathering such as cinemas, theatres etc and are normally placed directly over the emergency exit doorsNon-Maintained: this type of lighting is provided with a secondary power supply and only illuminates when the mains electrical system has failed or when the lighting units are under test. The secondary power supply may be internal to the luminaries, such as rechargeable batteries, or external such as a standby generator.
10 6. Fire Fighting Equipment Fire extinguishers are usually located in circulation areas and near fire exit doors.The means to fight a fire varies according to need, from hand held portable extinguishers that are designed to fight specific types of fire, such as CO2 for electrical fires to fully automatic systems, such as sprinkler installations.
11 7. Duties of Employees with Specific Responsibilities On hearing the alarm:All staff will usher visitors out of the building and assemble at the muster point.Fire wardens will ensure:Their areas are cleared of peopleRegisters are collected on the way outThe Fire Brigade is calledA roll call is made to ensure everyone is out
12 8. Safe Evacuation of People at Risk There needs to be arrangements for the safe evacuation of people identified as being especially at risk, such as contractors, those with disabilities, members of the public and visitors.Visitors: The host/employee must take responsibility for any visitor they may have and ensure they leave the building by the nearest exit.Contractors: must be given information about fire procedures and leave the building at the nearest exit.People with disabilities: Specific arrangements may need to be made for those with disabilities. These arrangements may be made with the assistance of the Area Health and Safety Advisor.It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the employer to evacuate disabled persons from their premises and NOT the responsibility of the Fire Service. Therefore, Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPS) must be put in place that describe the arrangements necessary for each individual requiring assistance to evacuate the premise safely. Arrangements will vary according to the needs of the individual and may include systems or arrangements such as a buddy to assist a visually impaired person down the stairs or multiple persons evacuating a mobility impaired person using an Evacuation Chair.
13 9. Contacting/Liaising with the Fire Brigade How will the Fire Brigade and any necessary emergency services be called and who will be responsible for doing this?On hearing the alarm (fill space) will Dial 999 and ask for the Fire Brigade or other emergency service as appropriate.Fire Wardens will call the Fire Brigade in the absence of (fill space) (this may be best achieved using a mobile phone)Procedures for liasing with the Fire Brigade on arrival and notifying them of any specific risks, e.g. the location of highly flammable materials.(fill space) or other member of the Fire Wardens will liase with the Fire Brigade on their arrival.
14 10. Roll Call Assembly Point An Assembly Point should be selected that is well away from the premises, is accessible without needing to cross busy traffic routes and not located where it will impede the access of the emergency services. It should also be located where if the need arises individuals can be moved easily to another location if required by the emergency services without affecting the fire fighting operation.Roll CallUpon arrival at an assembly point a headcount/roll call will be necessary to establish that all individuals have evacuated safely from the building. This information may be used to inform the fire service that all persons are present and accounted for or if it is thought there is anybody missing and may require their entry into the building to locate the missing person.In order for a roll call to be effective it is imperative that an up-to-date list of persons who were in the building at the time of the alarm is available at the assembly point.
15 11. Maintenance Maintenance Arrangements There must be suitable arrangements for ensuring that equipment is maintained and is available for use at all times. All equipment must be kept free from obstruction and where necessary, visible at all times.Alarm systems, emergency lighting, portable fire extinguishers, hose reels, sprinkler systems, gas flooding systems etc. will require servicing and maintenance by a competent engineer.Fire doors require regular checking to ensure that they will close fully on release and or operation of automatic closers.Final exit doors that are not in frequent use must be regularly checked to ensure they will open freely and that they only require a single action to open. They should also be checked to verify that additional security measures have been removed/disabled during normal occupied periods for example bolts, padlocks etc.
16 12. Staff Training The following training is recommended to staff: All staff: Fire Drills minimum once a year but ideally three times a yearAll staff: Fire briefing once a year (maybe in conjunction with fire drill)Fire Warden training: For designated fire wardensRecord of training to be kept within fire manual.Training to reviewed on a yearly basis and planned into budget.
17 Fire Safety StatementIn the event of fire, the safety of life shall override all other considerations, such as saving property and extinguishing the fire.