Top 10 Tips for Preparing a Fire Evacuation Plan

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This article looks at the Top 10 Tips for Preparing a Fire Evacuation Plan 2020. A high-quality fire evacuation plan will not only prepare your business for fires but rather for any emergency, whether that be a fire, medical or natural disaster emergency. By providing your employees with the proper evacuation training, they will be able to leave the office quickly in case of any emergency.

When planning your business fire evacuation plan, start with some basic questions to explore the primary threats your business may face in the case of a fire. Imagine various scenarios… Where might fires break out? How and why would they start? What if “X” happens? Make sure you understand the threats and how they might affect your business. Thinking through different scenarios moves a fire from something no one imagines into the collective consciousness of your business.

A valid fire safety and evacuation plan must detail every element of what needs to happen in the event of a fire. It should be easily accessible to all employees, and anybody that may need to know the information in the workplace.

A good evacuation plan will have the following:

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Establish Roles And Responsibilities

While assigning roles, there are many important considerations to acknowledge. You want to make sure your fire team is reliable, present, and able to react quickly in the face of an emergency. Additionally, make sure your organization’s fire marshals aren’t weighted towards one department, but you want to make sure your team is spread out across all departments and locations.

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Plan And Map Routes

A good fire evacuation plan for your business will include primary and secondary escape routes. Clear signs should mark all the exit routes. For large offices, make multiple maps and post them so employees know the evacuation routes.

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Emergency Doors

Properly functioning emergency doors that open easily for a quick escape (these should be checked and maintained regularly).

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Emergency Exits

The appropriate number of emergency exits to cater for the number of people in the building, to make for an immediate exit.

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Escape Routes

Clearly marked and obstacle-free escape routes that will provide the quickest and most direct exit from the building.

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Emergency Lighting

To help guide people out of the building in the event that the electricity needs to be shut down.

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Special Needs

Make sure to plan for any special needs such as disabled workers or other people who may need assistance to evacuate safely. Even if your company doesn’t have any permanently disabled employees, it’s crucial to plan for anyone who is temporarily on crutches or in a wheelchair. Incorporate contractors and temporary workers into your plan. Additionally, remote workers might not be directly affected by a fire, but they need to know what is going on with the business and their co-workers.

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Rehearse Fire Evacuation

Regular rehearsals minimize confusion through repetition of how the fire drill should work. A safe outcome is more likely to occur with calm employees who know what to do in the event of a fire.

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Know Your Fire Safety Provisions

Make sure you periodically remind your employees about where the fire safety features in your premises: fire extinguishers; fire alarms; emergency lighting; fire doors (if applicable); fire signage, etc. It’s crucial to ensure that all fire detection and warning systems are fully functional at all times and that the appropriate firefighting equipment is properly installed, tested and maintained to ensure safe use in the event of a fire.

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Assembly Point

A safe meeting point for all staff to meet and be accounted for in one place, that’s far enough away from the building to be deemed safe. An assistant fire warden (or Responsible Person) should be at the assembly area collecting a headcount and providing updates.

Please note that this article provides basic easy-to-understand guidance of fire safety provisions and the key fire safety information required to comply with legislation. Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. We aim to assist you to understand the fire-related terms within your Fire Risk Assessment.  It does not provide detailed technical guidance on all fire safety provisions, and you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.

Fire Risk Consultancy Services have the knowledge and experience to assist your business to comply with all legal requirements surrounding fire safety including legislation. Be sure to read our accompanying guides: Fire Alarm System Types, Fire Extinguishers, Emergency Lighting, Fire Doors, Fire Safety Signs, also published on this site. 

Please take a moment to have a look around our website where you will find related articles and guides to all the services we can provide your business with, from providing Fire Risk Assessments, fire safety training, full advisory service to Articles on Fire Safety Provisions and our Top Fire Safety Tips!