As an employer or landlord, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that the building you own/occupy or rent out has adequate fire safety equipment and procedures to keep all safe in the event of an emergency.
It is a legal requirement to have a fire evacuation plan and procedure in place if the property has more than 10 occupants.
When considering if you require fire evacuation plan(s) you need to first think about the people who are most likely to occupy this space along with the size, and complexity of the layout.
Would having a clear route displayed at key locations assist a person or persons in the event of an escape? Does the building have a fire procedure and has this stipulated if the fire strategy is to exit the building or is there a stay put policy that needs to be observed? as you do not want to give conflicting advice in the event of an emergency.
If you are intending for the occupants to exit the property, then you must ensure that there is adequate fire safety equipment for the specific building along with signage, emergency lighting and illuminated Fire Exit clearly marked and regularly checked/maintained.
Fire routes are determined by several different factors, you need to consider the distance from any specific location to the nearest safe point as well as capacity for any given route. These are calculated by ergonomic factors of the building itself, such as door and corridor widths along with numbers of fire exits to name but a few specifications.
Things to consider for a comprehensive Fire evacuation plan:
There are more factors that make up an effective fire evacuation plan besides a map indicating the exits.
A good Fire evacuation plan should have where possible primary and secondary routes in the event of the preferred route become blocked.
Depending on the size and the complexity of the building multiple maps may be required at key locations to ensure that all areas are covered with specific route information appropriate to that location indicating the most appropriate exit.
Once out of the building people will need to gather at a safe and pre-determined Fire Assembly Point or points. This is defined by how many people will gather in this given location or locations.
You must ensure that all aspects of the fire evacuation route, assembly areas and safe rooms are not overloaded and can safely accommodate the traffic assigned to this route based on the worst-case scenario and maximum capacity.
This may mean that you divide the property into zones and direct people accordingly to multiple assembly points depending on their location within the building.
This should be as clear and simple as possible and only 1 route should be shown on that plan to a specific exit.
Don’t let this phase you, BEST Compliance are happy to discuss your requirements and talk you through the best possible solution for your property.
We look forward to chatting to you in due course. Give us a call on 0121 585 5211 today.