Firefighters outside office building

Fire Evacuation Drills

EVACUATING THE PREMISES SAFELY AND EFFECTIVELY IS PARAMOUNT IN THE EVENT OF A FIRE AND THE PROCEDURE SHOULD BE FAMILIAR TO ALL EMPLOYEES AND VISITORS

fire evacuation drills

Churches Fire’s Fire Safety Team is expert in correct evacuation procedures and can provide all the necessary advice for your organisation.

In order to familiarise employees with the emergency plan and evaluate its effectiveness, a fire drill should be carried out annually, or as determined by the fire risk assessment. Churches Fire can organise and run these drills, acting as independent observers and provide you with a debrief, so you can be sure that you have an effective emergency plan in place.

Who should take part?

The evacuation should include all users except those needed to ensure the security of the premises, or those who are required to remain with equipment or processes that cannot be closed down. It may also be appropriate to include members of the public.

Premises with several buildings on the same site should be dealt with one building at a time over an appropriate period.

 

Carrying out the drill

For premises with more than one escape route, the emergency plan should evacuate people on the assumption that one exit or stairway is unavailable because of fire. Applying this scenario to different escape routes at each fire drill will encourage use of alternative escape routes not normally used.

When carrying out the drill it is helpful to:

  • Circulate details of the drill and inform staff of their duty to participate. Surprise drills are not always beneficial, given the health and safety risks
  • Ensure that equipment can be safely left
  • Nominate observers

Monitoring and debrief

The nominated observers should pay attention to the following:

  • Any difficulties establishing that everyone is accounted for
  • The use of the nearest escape route rather than common circulation routes
  • Difficulties opening final exit doors
  • Difficulties experienced by people with disabilities
  • The roles of specified people, for example fire wardens
  • Inappropriate actions, such as stopping to collect personal items
  • Windows and doors not being closed as people leave

Immediate debriefs with feedback from everyone are useful to establish the plan’s effectiveness. Later, reports from fire wardens and nominated observers should be collated and reviewed. Any conclusions and remedial actions should be recorded and implemented.

 

Contact Churches Fire to talk to us about your emergency plan and our fire drill service.

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