Fire Emergency Plans

Understanding the importance of a Fire emergency plan is critical for any organisation, small, medium or large. It’s more than just about procedures, it can be a life saver! When a fire breaks out, there will most probably be panic, uncertainty and confusion. But with a robust and solid fire emergency plan, safety and response will become the default.

Discovery of a fire – The first moments of discovering a fire are important. Stay calm and assess the situation. Is the fire small enough for you to tackle with the appropriate fire extinguisher. If not then evacuate the area immediately. 

Raising the alarm – Whether a small or large fire, make sure everyone knows there is a fire by raising the alarm. Depending on the size of your premises, this could be a shout of “Fire”, a rotary bell or an automatic fire alarm. Everyone within the premises needs to know there is an incident going on close by.

Means of notifying the Fire service – Notifying the fire service irrespective if an automatic fire alarm has been activated or you employ an alarm receiving center must be a top priority. Nominating a member of staff to phone the fire service should also be arranged. Attending fire appliances who are aware of  multiple calls will ensure they are in the best position to be prepared for the incident. These points could be the difference from minor damage to catastrophic damage.

Evacuation plans including those at risk – Your evacuation plan should be inclusive and take all those at risk into consideration. Individuals who have mobility issues, are hard of hearing, have visual impairment and anyone else that requires assistance must be included in the evacuation plan. There could be more than one plan for staff who work at night time, early mornings, lone working etc.     

Power and process isolation – Mainly for commercial kitchens or on industrial site but having a procedure in place to isolate any power or process will ensure not only the safety of Firefighters but also, another fire is not indirectly caused by leaving ovens or industrial machinery running during an evacuation.

Safe place of Assembly  Assembly points should be away from the building but within a distance that a role call can be taken, be known to all staff members and preferably provide some sort of protection from the weather elements. There is currently no set distance an assembly point needs to be from a building.

The above are the first 6 points of an Fire emergency plan. More to follow in the next blog.

A fire emergency action plan template can be found on the London Fire brigade website

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