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A guide to fire drills and their importance
Fire safety is highly important whether you are in a domestic or commercial property. Taking the right precautions can save lives.

Whether you work in an office, retail outlet, school or factory, fire drills are a vital part of your workplace fire safety.

Fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire safety signs are each important aspects of fire safety. However they're an indirect form of fire protection. If a fire was to break-out, the primary aim is to protect everyone within your building.

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What is a fire drill and why are they necessary?

A fire drill is used to simulate an emergency procedure where the aim is to emulate the steps and procedure that must be taken in the event of a fire. The fire drill will involve creating a situation that would happen if a real fire happened, this will usually mean that the fire alarms will be activated and will require your employees and any visitors within your property, to evacuate the building.

This is something that is often simply seen as a test run of the fire evacuation process, while it may be tedious, it can help save lives. During a fire drill you will be able to identify any flaws or weaknesses within your procedure and will allow you to make any changes. For example, if some of your staff members are gathering their belongings, you should ensure that they are aware that they may be putting their lives in danger.'

Who is responsible for a fire drill and how often should be they undertaken?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order states that the person that is responsible for all aspects of fire safety in commercial and non-domestic premises is 'the owner, occupier or manager.'

The ‘responsible person’ will have a number of duties, including the planning of an emergency procedure and ensures that staff are provided with the information, fire safety instruction and training they need.

Regular fire drills are recommended and should be carried out and conducted by the 'responsible person'.

In order meet your legal obligations of the fire safety regulations, you should hold a fire drill at least once a year and the results of the drill should be recorded correctly and kept as part of your fire safety and evacuation plan.

How do you conduct a fire drill effectively?

The ‘responsible person’ and any observers should:

  • Watch out for any inappropriate behavior during the drill. For example, gathering belongings
  • Watch out for any difficulties experienced by people with disabilities
  • Make sure employees are using the nearest fire escape route
  • Listen to the roll call taken once the evacuation is complete

After the drill, the 'responsible person' should:

  • Record and store the details of the fire drill, including positives and negatives that have been observed
  • Any important findings during the fire drill will need to be recorded within the Fire Risk Assessment
  • Any action that is needed should be taken. For example, implementing fire safety signs
For further help with fire safety and fire drills, please contact our fire and security experts today. Call us on 0117 405 89 46
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