Every business, no matter its size, should have a comprehensive fire emergency evacuation plan. The plan should be a written document that covers the actions of staff members in the event of a fire and the arrangements for calling the fire and rescue service.
The plan should highlight the following areas:
- How people will be warned in the event of a fire
- How the building will be evacuated
- Where the emergency escape routes lead to
- Assembly point/s and final place of safety
- Who is responsible for calling the emergency services
- The position and provision of firefighting equipment
- The added responsibilities of identified people in the event of a fire (i.e. fire marshals)
- Provisions for the evacuation of people especially at risk (contractors, visitors, those with disabilities)
- (if applicable) PEEPs (Personal Emergency Evacuation Procedure)
- Who is responsible for communicating with the fire and rescue service upon their arrival
- The location of isolation points (water, electrics, gas)
- Who would be responsible for any shut down procedures (such as machinery or appliances) and special arrangements (i.e. removal of cylinders)
- The training required to achieve the above points
Your plans should be simple to understand. Consider what the procedures are for those that discover a fire and for those that hear an alarm.
Remember, your plans should reflect your evacuation strategy.
Finally, if your building is large, complex or across multiple floors it is wise to have a floor plan which highlights your escape plan. It is advisable to have logos on the plan to show the fire exits, assembly point/s, firefighting equipment and fire alarm items such as the panel, call points and detectors. It is also key to highlight stairs, fire doors and if you are aware of the buildings structure, mark where the compartmentation walls are.