How to Conduct a Fire Drill
The Fire Safety Order 2005 has made it a legal requirement that all workplaces, including small businesses, must conduct regular fire drills. All members of staff need to practice escape routes and have a secure knowledge of what to do in the event of a real fire for their own safety.
Here are some tips on how to make workplace fire drills as efficient and effective as possible:
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- Ensure that there is a fire safety committee in place – Larger companies should create a fire safety team, or at least nominate one person to be a designated person with fire safety responsibilities.
- Make sure everyone knows all the routines and procedures – Who is responsible for accounting for people? Who is responsible for conducting a sweep of the building? Who is going to liaise with the fire services? All of these questions should be answered before the drill takes place.
- Fire safety doors and emergency exits – These should be clearly marked as well as completely unobstructed.
- Decide whether the fire drill is to be planned or a surprise – If the fire drill is unplanned, the workplace staff will believe there is a real fire and will take it seriously. If the drill is planned, however, people will hopefully conduct themselves in a calm and appropriate manner.
- Review escape routes – The team should be reviewing all factors specific to their workplace, such as the effectiveness of escape routes.
- Identify any weaknesses in the escape routines – This may be identifying a quicker route, or changing the location of the assembly area.
- Take a register – This should be a list of everyone at your workplace
- Evaluate the fire drill. After it has finished, identify any fire safety improvements and try to identify areas that need improvement. All findings should be recorded.
- Carry out a fire risk assessment to plan how often fire drills should be conducted. An annual or twice a year fire drill is realistic and effective for businesses.
- Regularly check all fire alarms and fire extinguishers – Check they are in good working order on a periodic basis.
Written by AAI Security Systems