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Do you have a fire emergency plan in place?

10th June 2022

If you are the owner or employer of a premise that doesn’t class as a private home, it is your responsibility to keep residents or occupants safe should a fire break out. By law, you must have a fire emergency plan in case of a fire to ensure people can reach a place of safety as quickly as possible.

What is a fire emergency plan?

A fire emergency plan is a written document that explains the specific actions staff should take in the event of a building fire, including the details of emergency services and when they should be called. For smaller buildings, this could be a Fire Action Notice; a simple fire action sign that all staff, residents, and visitors can read to familiarise themselves. However, for larger premises, more detailed procedures are required. They should outline a Staff Fire Action Plan, which should outline findings of a fire risk assessment and if any staff are at greater risk, maybe due to a disability or their location within the premise. 

Does the fire emergency plan have to be formal?

The formality of your plan depends on specific circumstances:

  • If the premise you’re responsible for is licensed, eg. a pub, club, theatre, or cinema
  • If you are an employer on the premise and you have five or more employees
  • If you have been served an Alterations Notice under the Fire Safety Order

A fire emergency plan must show that you have:

  1. An evacuation strategy - employees and fire wardens need to know what they must do in the event of a fire
  2. Properly maintained fire alarms in place
  3. A clear understanding of how to call the emergency services and who has this responsibility
  4. Clearly marked escape routes and final exits which are kept free from obstructions at all times
  5. Emergency doors that open easily and emergency lighting where needed
  6. Training provided so that your employees know their nearest escape route and what to do when the fire alarm sounds
  7. Decided a safe, marked assembly point
  8. Considered the individual needs of anyone who might not be able to escape quickly in the event of a fire, eg. wheelchair users

If you would like to learn more about how to keep your workforce safe, browse our full range of blogs here, or get in touch with us today on our website.