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