How do you ensure your Emergency Evacuation Training is up to scratch?
It’s one thing to have a solid emergency evacuation plan in place, but if your staff aren’t trained, it’s unlikely to be very effective.
Do you know what the scarcest thing is in most emergencies? It’s not fire blankets, extinguishers or any other kind of equipment: it’s time. Time can mean the difference between everyone getting to safety quickly, and the horrific reality of people being left behind. Thankfully, training helps your staff to make the best use of their time, so they can make the best safety decisions for themselves, and for others around them. To help you, we’ve supplied some of the key ways that your workplace can create the best evacuation training program for staff, so you are better-equipped to succeed in your evacuation plan:
Create a cohesive Emergency Planning Committee
An Emergency Planning Committee is a group that comes together from any facility, to form the organisation’s fire safety body. The Australian Standards – the national fire safety regulator – states that all members of the Committee must be thoroughly trained in your emergency evacuation plan. While all members of the team should have fire safety training, this Committee should have more than just the normal training: they should be your dedicated emergency evacuation experts. Here are some signs that this group is well-trained in fire safety:
- They don’t just undergo a once-off training program, but rather they experience ongoing and regular training, conducted over an extended period of time
- This fire safety team are very familiar with their roles, responsibilities and can confidently perform these should a real emergency happen
- Part of their training is around helping to mitigate the risk altogether through various preventive measures, so emergencies are a far less common occurrence.
Ensure your team can read and interpret evacuation diagrams
Evacuation diagrams are a crucial form of safety equipment, situated throughout common areas and general paths of travel. They show vital information to help you navigate an emergency situation. Not only do they highlight the closest fire safety equipment, designated exit points and emergency assembly points, they also show you exactly where you are in relation to these points so you can evacuate as safely and quickly as possible.
Nonetheless, in order for them to work effectively, these diagrams must be easily seen and accessible. A tip from us: train your staff in how to read and interpret evacuation diagrams! Your team should never be reading these for the first time during an emergency when the panic of evacuation has kicked in. Rather, they should be trained and retrained in how to read and interpret these, so they can be even more efficient in the real event of an emergency.
Ensure staff have regular hands-on scenario-based training
It’s just a fact of life that emergency situations create panic, chaos and fear. Even the most level-headed of individuals can struggle to remember their training, or even just logic, under these terrifying circumstances. Thankfully, hands-on training provides memorable tools to help you recall aspects of a fire evacuation plan, even under pressure. This is likely to involve a training in:
- How to use first-attack fire equipment, and when to use each kind
- Your facility’s unique set of evacuation procedures
- Various fire drills or simulations of visitors or occupant evacuations
RACE is a simple 4-step training tool that staff can call on in these situations. It stands for: Remove, Alarm/Alert, Confine/Contain, Extinguish/Evacuate. Read our recent article about this useful training tool.
Not sure your emergency evacuation plan is up to scratch? Fire Block Plans is here to help you and your team. Our highly-qualified experts will help find a suitable emergency evacuation plan, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.