- 1 Whose Job is it to Make a Fire Safety Plan?
- 2 What Features Should be Included in Your Fire Safety Plan?
- 2.1 An Ample Number of Escape Routes
- 2.2 Clear Passageways to Every Single Escape Route
- 2.3 Your Fire Exits Must be Clearly Marked
- 2.4 Where Needed, Your Fire Exits Must have Emergency Lighting
- 2.5 Your Emergency Doors Must Open Easily
- 2.6 You Must have a Safe Meeting Point for Staff
- 2.7 Train Staff so that Everyone Knows How to use Escape Routes
- 2.8 Mobility Needs
As K & D Systems specialises in fire curtains and fire shutters, we’re usually in contact with conscientious companies who are very aware of the potential dangers fire poses to their workforce, their assets, and their premises. However, we know that not all businesses take fire safety as seriously as they should and some just need a little bit of guidance. This blog is our way of helping companies get their fire safety knowledge up to scratch, but it isn’t a replacement for official fire-safety training. In today’s blog, we’re looking at fire safety and evacuation plans. For more information, visit GOV.uk.
Whose Job is it to Make a Fire Safety Plan?
It is a necessity for all businesses to write a fire safety and evacuation plan. This task, ultimately, is the responsibility of the employer, but they can delegate to the office manager or nominate a fire safety officer. A fire safety plan will be unique to your work place and will consider its particular obstacles and disadvantages. Your fire safety plan must be well considered and you will be asked to revisit it if it is not good enough.
What Features Should be Included in Your Fire Safety Plan?
Make sure your fire safety plan contains the following features:
An Ample Number of Escape Routes
It’s important that your fire safety plan contains enough exits throughout your premises to allow everyone to escape, wherever they are in the building. If you do not have enough outside doors dispersed around your property, you may have to install one or two additional fire exits.
Clear Passageways to Every Single Escape Route
Now that you have enough escape routes, you need to ensure that there are no physical obstacles that impede or completely stop workers from accessing an escape route. If you’re not sure whether or not there are any obstacles, walk through each of your escape routes and note any potential problems. Perhaps you will just have to rearrange a little furniture to clear up your escape routes, or perhaps you will have to make bigger changes.
Your Fire Exits Must be Clearly Marked
It’s not enough to have ample clear escape routes, you also must clearly mark these routes so that they are easily found and followed in the event of a fire. This obviously means that you’ll have to buy appropriate signage and rearrange things a little. Fire safety signs are never pretty, but they can save lives.
Where Needed, Your Fire Exits Must have Emergency Lighting
This is a slightly different requirement to the one above, but the idea is the same: there’s no point in having adequate escape routes in your employees can’t find them in an emergency. If you have darker areas of you premises, then you will have to use emergency lighting to direct people to the nearest fire exit.
Your Emergency Doors Must Open Easily
There’s no point in having ample emergency exits if one or two of them are very difficult to open. Test each of your fire exits and if one of them requires a little extra skill or strength to open then it probably won’t do. You have to remember that your staff members could be distraught or disorientated in a fire, or they might even be injured. This is why it is an official stipulation that all emergency doors are easy to open.
You Must have a Safe Meeting Point for Staff
It is very important to take a head count once everyone is out of the building in the event of a fire. It’s essential to count staff to make sure that everyone made it out. If anyone is missing, you can give this information to the fire service when they arrive. Establish a fixed meeting point outside the building where everyone must meet. It’s important that this location is safe for employees, so make sure it is far enough away from the building to avoid any risk from the fire and that there are no other potential hazards.
Train Staff so that Everyone Knows How to use Escape Routes
It’s vital that everyone who works or inhabits your building understands the various escape routes, the safe meeting point, and any other details that are key to your fire safety an evacuation plan. So make sure everyone receives adequate training.
Lastly, it’s important that you make special arrangements for staff with special mobility needs. For instance, you may need to make allowances for wheelchair users to help them get down stairs or around other obstacles.
Ultimately, so much of fire safety is really quite sensible when you look at it more closely. It’s about thinking objectively about any issues that may arise and being prepared. If you’ve found this article useful, you may like to check out the other articles in our fire safety blog.