How to create an effective fire plan for your business
It’s up to you to create a fire evacuation plan that ensures the health and safety of people and your property.
If you are the owner, manager or operator of a facility, it’s your responsibility to manage your emergency evacuation plan. An effective emergency response plan paired with evacuation diagrams and ongoing training makes for extremely effective evacuation action planning.
It’s not all about trying to avoid fines! Your evacuation plan should exist for the sake of health and safety – after all, it may mean the difference between life and death should an emergency occur. We’ve put together this informative guide to help you better understand each of the aspects that make up a fire evacuation plan, so you can ensure the best possible evacuation management:
What makes up a fire evacuation plan?
Your Emergency Evacuation Plan should contain three core areas: Evacuation Diagrams, Emergency Response Plans, and Emergency Training. All three of these are critical to effective emergency management, and come with a number of regulations as laid out in the Australian Standards.
Evacuation Diagrams are essential to any fire evacuation plan. These should be situated throughout common areas and along general paths of travel. They should also be placed in areas where they can be easily seen by passers by.
These diagrams show vital information that is essential in case of emergency. In accordance with AS3745 they must at a minimum show:
- The location of fire equipment
- Designated exit points
- Emergency assembly points
- Evacuation routes.
The total quantity of evacuation diagrams needed in your facility will be decided by your building’s designated Emergency Planning Committee, also known as the EPC.
Any great EPC understands that fire evacuation safety is not only all about signage and diagrams. After all, there’s not much point in having a diagram in place if it no longer reflects the true circumstances of your facility. You must also ensure there are never any obstructions to your escape routes, and that any changes to the building plan are promptly reflected in your diagrams. Waiting too long to update your diagrams can cause problems during an evacuation, hindering the effectiveness of your evacuation plan.
Emergency Response Plan
Evacuation events happen a lot more than many people think, which is why it’s important to plan out the best way to gather your colleagues in the case of a workplace evacuation. An Emergency Response Plan contains all information relating to the facilities emergency plan and emergency response procedure. All the roles and responsibilities of staff will be listed here as well as emergency phone numbers, potential risks for the workplace, emergency procedures, visitor management and other vital information.
A solid Emergency Response Plan shows strong consideration for where staff and visitors will meet and assemble in the case of an emergency event. It will often have several meeting points across several locations, so that there are alternative safe locations for meeting in the event of an emergency. Staff must also be familiar with the evacuation routes to those locations.
All members of the EPC must be well rehearsed with their duties in accordance with the emergency response plan. Regular emergency training must be conducted to ensure all relevant staff are familiar with their roles, and able to confidently perform should an emergency situation occur.
Here are some signs of good emergency training and evacuation management:
- Training involves pre and post emergency activities, including how to use first-attack fire equipment and how to go about fire drills and deal with visitors who may be disabled or have mobility restrictions.
- All members of the Emergency Planning Committee are well-versed in their duties, in line with the specifications of your emergency response plan.
- Regular, ongoing training is conducted, ensuring staff are familiar with their roles and able to perform these confidently in the event of an emergency.
- How important is a fire action plan?
- Why does emergency planning save lives?
- Why give your staff hands-on fire training?
- How to ensure the best evacuation training for staff
- How to create an Evacuation Plan for Australian Standards
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.