Carrying out an effective fire drill at work
Fire safety is of paramount importance for any business owner and office manager. Ensuring that you have adequate risk assessments and procedures put in place for an emergency situation means that you can ensure that you do your utmost to keep your staff safe during an incident. One of the best ways to make sure you are doing all you can is to contact a Gloucestershire Fire Risk Assessment company and have them complete a Fire risk assessment for you and consult with you on any areas that you may want to look into and adopt into your fire routine.
Carrying out regular fire drills is important to check that all of the processes that you have put into place work and that people are aware of their requirements should a real alarm occur. These drills are separate to the regular checking of your fire alarms and break glass points. A fire drill essentially simulates what would happen during a real fire incident without the actual risk of fire. Any fire marshals that you have will need to carry out their given duties during a drill and all staff will evacuate the building and meet at the designated fire evacuation point.
Many companies will carry these out on a given cycle but ensuring that they cover different days of the week and different times of day to cover all staff members and visitors to your offices or place of work. They are also usually carried out following the recruitment of new staff to help make them aware of the procedures for fire evacuation, they should also have the fire procedures included in their staff induction packs and this should be also discussed with them by either their line manager or the person responsible for fire safety. The best practice timescale is to carry out a drill at least on a year basis but if you work in a school or manufacturing environment these should be carried out more often. Once you have carried out your fire drill this should be recorded with any issues being noted and any remedial action that needs to be put into place.
There are some key things that you may want to consider when planning and carrying out a fire drill:
- If you have visitors coming to your place of work, you may want to inform them that there is going to be a fire drill carried out on that day
- You need to make a decision as to whether you tell employees that you are going to be carrying out a fire drill or whether you are going to leave it as unannounced so that their reactions and the way they exit the building is not affected by the knowledge that it is not a real fire.
- Ensure that your fire marshals are watching staff members to ensure that they are not returning to their desks to collect bags and coats and that everyone is following the steps in the fire evacuation procedures.