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The correct evacuation of a property, in the event of a fire, can help to ensure that all building occupants stay calm and act correctly.

Fire Evacuation Drills are required in any premises where an evacuation procedure is in place, as per the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.  This is to ensure any person nominated by the Responsible Person is able to implement the evacuation procedures for the property.

Who should take part?

During a fire evacuation drill, it is vital all persons within the building take part excluding any staff involved in ensuring the security of the property OR who are involved in running a process that can not be shut down or must be permanently monitored. On some occasions, it may even be appropriate to include some members of the public (IE persons who visit the building regularly such as Delivery Drivers or clients who visit frequently).

What is the process of a Fire Evacuation Drill?

Your Fire Evacuation Drill instructor will arrive early to check all emergency routes, exit doors etc.  They will then discuss with your coordinator/senior fire warden to check the correct procedures. Paperwork & Records will be checked including the fire safety logbook. A member of your staff will then be required to activate the fire alarm system (Please Note: we are unable to do this on your behalf) with the instructor monitoring actions as the drill progresses. Once the drill is completed a debrief will be carried out to provide the relevant findings & feedback including answering any questions raised.

This will ensure your staff are fully prepared for an emergency evacuation should it occur. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 points out certain aspects of the emergency evacuation you should address;

  • Emergency routes and exits must lead as directly as possible to a place of safety.
  • In the event of danger, it must be possible for persons to evacuate the premises as quickly and as safely as possible.
  • The number, distribution and dimensions of emergency routes and exits must be adequate having regard to the use, equipment and dimensions of the premises and the maximum number of persons who may be present there at any one time.
  • Emergency doors must open in the direction of escape.  Sliding or revolving doors must not be used for exits specifically intended as emergency exits.
  • Emergency doors must not be locked or fastened that they cannot be easily and immediately opened by any person who may require to use them in an emergency.
  • Emergency routes and exits must be indicated by signs.
  • Emergency routes and exits requiring illumination must be provided with emergency lighting of adequate intensity in the case of failure of their normal lighting.  All of this will be covered as part of the drill.

Fire Evacuation Drill Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) section is designed to help you with your Fire Evacuation Drill queries, however, please feel free to contact us if you would like more detailed information or your question is not listed.

You should complete a Fire Evacuation drill at least once a year, with full recordings logged. However, if your Fire Risk Assessment recommends that you complete the drills more frequently (such as every 6 months) you should follow this recommendation.

You must keep the results of the drill and file with your fire risk assessment and fire safety documentation.

To put it simply. Yes, it is a legal requirement to complete at least one fire evacuation drill per year. However, HSE does recommend it is better to complete fire evacuation drills a few times a year especially if your property has rotating staff on shift, high-risk factors or considerable changes to the plan/building. 

The evacuation process itself you would hope is as short as possible, although this depends on the evacuation strategy and size of the property. 

The full process that we offer takes a few hours, as before the drill we understand your evacuation policy, complete the drill and have a full debrief and report advising of any findings and necessary improvements. 

The information provided in the FAQ's section was correct at the time of writing. Although we always strive to keep this up to date, legislation/standards are frequently updated. This section should not be used as legal guidance and or reference.

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