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What makes a solid fire escape plan?

Jul 31, 2020

Having a strong fire escape plan is crucial to your safety in a fire emergency. 

Most harmful fires are preventable or at least have the potential to be minimised. This is why it’s necessary to have a fire escape plan in place to protect yourself, your employees and your property. Here are some of the signs of an effective fire escape plan: 

 

You have clear escape routes and diagrams

An excellent fire evacuation plan will include key primary and secondary escape routes, with clear signage marking all the exit routes. These should remain clear at all times to ensure there are no obstructions in the way should an actual fire take place. 

Don’t forget, every good fire escape plan needs to be backed up with excellent evacuation diagrams. In accordance with AS3745, your diagrams must, as a minimum, display: 

  • The nearest exit from the marked “You are here” point 
  • The location of the nearest fire equipment
  • The Floor Plan and Site Plan of the facility, its Assembly Point and its Emergency Procedures.

 

Your team is confident in their roles and responsibilities

Fire emergency training is vital, and could mean the difference between a safe workplace that can resume business right away, and a full blown fire catastrophe. The emergency signs & diagrams displayed in your building should merely remind your staff of your evacuation plan, it should never be anybody’s first point of instruction. It’s crucial that your team knows and understands your fire escape plan and are aware of their established roles and responsibilities. One effective way to do this is by allocating the following key roles to certain staff members:

  • Chief fire warden:
    An employee with the overall responsibility of planning and executing your evacuation plan for a fire. It’s up to them to perform tasks like head counts and checks, or to ensure there are no obstructions to the escape routes.
  • Assistant fire warden:
    An employee tasked with alerting other employees and the fire department, as well as gathering reports. This person should also be the administrator of your emergency communication system if you have one in place.
  • Route guides:
    An employee who ensures the evacuation path is clear and the evacuation process is orderly and calm.
  • Floor monitors:
    Last to evacuate, this person is responsible for making sure the area is clean and nobody has been left behind in the building.
  • Fire extinguishers:
    Dedicated staff who are trained extensively in the use of fire equipment, it’s the role of individuals to fight the fire – only if possible and safe.

When picking your fire escape team, it’s important to ensure all individuals are reliable, present and able to act under pressure. Your team should not only know their role in a fire emergency, but they should also be trained in how to use fire equipment. This training shouldn’t be a once off and it should be ongoing as people tend to forget information if they haven’t needed to use it in a while. Evacuation drills are a handy tool to help people remember this training – plus, they also reduce panic and uncertainty in the real event of a fire. 

 

Your fire escape plan is right for your facility

It’s not merely about having a fire escape plan in place. You also need to have the correct one, tailored to the unique needs, layout and risks of your facility. Consideration of critical business areas and the various natural and business-related hazards are an imperative. This should also be updated from time to time – after all, there’s not much point in having a fire escape plan in place if it is outdated, and does not reflect your building’s current set-up, floor plan or layout. When making any changes to your facility, always consider how changes to the size, layout or building materials could alter your current fire escape plan.

 

Need help upgrading your fire escape plan? Fire Block Plans is here to help you and your team. Our highly-qualified experts will help find a suitable emergency evacuation plan, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.