Fire drills are essential to make sure your workforce are aware of the necessary steps to safely evacuate the premises. Without this training, your workforce will be at risk should there be an emergency. This blog will look at what a fire drill is and the importance of conducting them.
What is a Fire Drill?
A fire drill is a simulation of an emergency evacuation. It aims to train and remind employees on the correct evacuation procedures. The usual practice involves sounding the fire alarm and observing how the workforce acts. Unsuccessful drills will require further training.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 legally requires you to conduct a fire drill at least twice a year. An evacuation plan should be created documenting the following:
- Fire Alarms
- Fire exit locations
- Assembly Points
- Who calls the emergency services
- Where the fire fighting equipment is
Below is the necessary steps to take in order to conduct a successful fire drill:
Before The Drill
There are a number of steps to consider before you can conduct a fire drill.
Appoint A Person Of Control
Identify who is going to be in charge of overseeing the fire drill. This person could be responsible for deciding when the drill will take place, organising people involved or giving warning to other businesses that might be sharing the premises.
This is key in a large organisation. If you’re part of a big organisation, it is difficult to observe the whole workforce during the drill. Nominate a number of individuals to observe different areas of the premises. This will generate a more detailed and accurate report.
The employees present in the drill should already have the knowledge on how to successfully complete it as this should be included as part of their day one induction training. The purpose of the drill is to check that the training and the evacuation plan is adequate. Click here for more information on training.
During The Drill
Observe The Fire Escapes
Identify if employees are using the closest fire escape routes to them. It is a common problem that people will opt for their most familiar exit rather than the most appropriate. In addition, make sure no one has problems reaching the exits. For example, ensure fire door aren’t blocked or locked and therefore unavailable to use.
Identify whether people are following the instructions. They should be going directly for the exits and not stopping to collect personal belongings. Moreover, look out for people who might need assistance and whether this has been provided. For example, evacuation chairs or a buddy system. It is important to identify whether they need any further assistance to aid their evacuation.
If you have fire wardens, have they completed the duties expected of them. Also, you may want to check whether you have enough to cover the whole of your building and any leave from the workplace.
Take a register looking to see if all employees are accounted for. Without a register, it would be difficult to identify if anyone failed to evacuate. It will also show who has taken part in the drill.
After The Drill
In order to learn from the drill it is important to review how it went. As you’re carrying out the drill you should record your findings detailing what went well and what could be improved. From this you can identify action points and a deadline for completion.
Eric is an expert when it come to conducting fire drills. He states: To make sure your fire wardens are checking all areas, get some of your staff to hide in a room to see if they are found. In addition, You may also want to get someone to pretend that they have been injured to assess how individuals respond.
If you’d like to read more about fire safety in the work place click here.
What Sure Safety Can Offer
Our consultants are on hand to help you with fire safety. They can help you by offering fire safety solutions and advice on meeting the duties set by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Our services can include: fire risk assessments, fire evacuation planning and fire safety strategy. We take pride in our work and will always look to keep safety simple. We don’t want safety to be seen as a burden but as something that works for you.
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