How to Create an Emergency Fire Safety Plan
Most workplace fires are preventable. It’s crucial those responsible for workplaces adopt appropriate prevention and protection measures to minimise fire risk. If a fire does break out, it may well pose a threat to life and cause significant damage to premises and severe interruption to projects.
While fire prevention is always best, it’s also important to make a detailed plan in case a fire does occur. Here’s what you need to include in your emergency plan to keep team members, and your site, as safe as possible.
Your plan should detail fire detection systems on-site, such as fire alarms and wireless fire alarm solutions, as well as a process for identifying false alarms. Ensure that all team members have a clear understanding of how to raise the alarm, alert colleagues and know who is responsible for calling 999.
Don’t forget to include suitable procedures for times when premises are closed or there are less employees on site.
Make plans for emergency plant shutdown if appropriate. This may involve isolating power sources and using protection methods such as shut-off valves. You should also have a simple plan showing the location of hazardous items ready to communicate to the emergency services.
Fire Safety Equipment
List your firefighting equipment and where it is located. Choose appropriate equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire trolleys and fire blankets based on your fire risk assessment. Make sure everybody knows the location of fire equipment and appropriate times to use them.
Escape Routes and Meeting Points
Ensure you have a clear passageway to escape routes and detail routes in your plan. Emergency escape routes should be clearly marked and as short and direct as possible. Emergency escape doors should open easily and never be locked from the inside. Consider whether you require emergency lighting to help guide people to an exit.
Your plan must also set out a safe meeting point where staff members can be counted, and missing persons identified swiftly.
Helping Those Who Need Assistance
Don’t forget the needs of people with disabilities who may not be able to exit a building quickly in the event of a fire. This may include wheelchair users as well as people with visual impairments. Individuals requiring assistance should have their own Personal Emergency Escape Plan (PEEP), detailing additional equipment and who is responsible for assisting.
Training and Leadership
Consider what training provisions are required to ensure your employees know what to do in the event of a fire. Appoint competent persons to provide leadership and direction in the event of an emergency. This may include a first-aiders and nominated incident controllers, who should be able to provide technical and site-specific information to emergency services if necessary. Remember to test your emergency plan by practising it regularly.
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