On their first day of their new job one of the most important pieces of information an employee will be given is the fire evacuation procedure. It’s the law to have a plan in place and all employees should complete a drill at least once a year. If you’re in a larger premises, a number of staff will need to be trained as a fire warden, knowing how to use fire equipment and where it is stored. If you’re on a smaller premises, all staff should receive this training as they start work with your business.
What should my emergency plan include?
Your fire evacuation plan should be communicated to all staff and include the following information:
- What to do if they should discover a fire – raising the alarm, emergency services, is it small enough to extinguish? Evacuating the premises.
- What should be done if the fire alarm is heard – leaving via the designated emergency route and gathering at the stated assembly point.
- Escape routes and exits – should be clearly signposted and kept clear of blockages e.g. tables, boxes, even if temporary.
- How the alarm is raised – location of fire alarm call points and how to use them.
- Calling the fire and rescue service – usually a fire warden who makes the call, as soon as it is possible to do so.
- People with disabilities – should they require additional assistance; they should have a Personal Emergency and Evacuation Plan.
- Evacuation procedures – ensuring routes are kept clear, they’re clearly signed, and an evacuation map is displayed.
Responsibilities of a Fire Warden
- Checking the building regularly looking for fire risks to make it as safe as possible.
- Communicating risks to other employees to minimise fire risk.
- Carrying out fire drills at least once a year.
- Testing smoke alarms weekly.
- Providing fire safety training to new employees.
- Role if there’s a fire:
- Raising the alarm
- Contacting emergency services
- Closing doors
- Instructing people to emergency exits
- Assisting those in need of extra help
- Checking nobody is left in the premises
- Tackling small fires if possible
- Role call at the assembly point
How many fire wardens do you need?
Simple – follow the guide below:
<20 employees: At least one
20-75 employees: At least two
Every 75 employees thereafter: One additional fire warden
A few considerations to make…
All shifts should have the adequate amount of fire wardens to cover the number of employees at work. If your premises poses a higher risk – such as a care home for example, more fire wardens will be required.
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