It's all about practice, practice, practice.
Love or hate them, evacuation drills are important!
A fire drill is a simulated emergency procedure which aims to emulate the processes which would be undertaken in the event of a fire or other similar emergency. It involves creating a situation which replicates what would happen if a real fire were to occur, usually with the inclusion of fire alarms, and requires your employees, and anyone else who may be within your property at the time, to evacuate.
Why Should We Carry Out Drills?
There are several reasons why fire drills are important;
1. A rehearsal of the emergency procedures in the form of an evacuation drill is essential to ensure that employees are familiar with the Emergency Plan.
2. The evacuation drills also offer the employer a chance to check that the emergency plan is effective, and offers Fire Wardens the chance to practice the skills learned during their training.
3. Fire drills make sure all staff are familiar with evacuation procedures, roles and responsibilities.
4. They get staff used to exiting a building quickly and therefore in a real life situation panic will be reduced.
5. Fire drills are also useful for testing escape routes to evaluate their effectiveness.
6. They familiarise new occupants with procedures.
7. Test arrangements for disabled people.
8. Identify weaknesses in emergency communications procedures and system.
9. During fire drills, checks can also be carried out on alarm systems to ensure they are working correctly and that emergency exits are unobstructed.
How Many Times Per Year Should a Drill Take Place?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that evacuation drills are carried out periodically in a variety of realistic situations, with a minimum of one drill per year. It is strongly advised the two per year are carried out.
Observing and Informing.
To monitor fire drills, observers should be placed at points around the building in areas such as stairwells to look for good and bad practices. Any room for improvement can be noted and then mentioned at a debriefing meeting after the drill.
If you need help or advice on evacuation procedures, drills or an other fire safety matters, please call us on 01246 4343 314.