Why do I need a RACE evacuation procedure?
Safety planning is a must and RACE evacuation procedures can help simplify the process.
Emergency evacuation procedures are a set of written instructions that tells workers and visitors exactly what to do when faced with an emergency. Safe Work Australia outlines that any PCBU (Person Conducting Business or Undertaking) must prepare an emergency procedure for the workplace.
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The RACE acronym is a helpful tool to assist you in developing your organisation’s evacuation procedures, forming part of a detailed and effective Emergency Evacuation Plan. RACE offers an easy to remember four-step evacuation method that can be used to minimise panic and confusion in the event of a fire emergency. Here are the four steps involved in a RACE evacuation plan:
Step 1: Remove
The very first step of your emergency evacuation plan is ensuring all people inside the premises are taken to safety.
Step 2: Alert/Alarm
Informing emergency services (dialling 000) and sounding all internal alarms.
Step 3: Confine/Contain
Once people are evacuated and the authorities are informed, your focus should move to containing the fire.
Step 4: Extinguish/Evacuate
Staff who are trained should operate fire extinguishers and other fire fighting equipment and attempt to put out the blaze as best as possible, without putting themselves in danger.
RACE helps create a clearer understanding of your processes
When people are faced with terrifying and unexpected scenarios they tend to panic. Panic causes us to lose our focus, and that often means we don’t act in the most effective way. By providing a clear set of easy to remember guidelines and expectations for individuals, a solid RACE fire plan, alongside evacuation diagrams, will help your team remain focussed on the most important task of getting to safety as quickly as possible, should a fire emergency occur. A concise action plan is far easier for people to practice, giving everyone a clearer idea of what to do in a fire. We believe this is what makes RACE such an effective and useful tool.
Don’t forget about staff training!
Did you know that less than half of building occupants are comfortable using a fire extinguisher? This is a troubling statistic that shows how important it is not only to have an emergency response plan, but to ensure your staff understand it. A concise written plan is far easier for people to practice, helping drill in everyone’s roles and responsibilities. It’s crucial that you and your staff are trained and retrained in this plan and the prevention of fires, in line with the unique risks present to your premises.
While a RACE evacuation procedure is a very useful tool to have, the acronym should never replace fire equipment and evacuation training. Training is critical for staff members to truly understand their role in an emergency – RACE should be there merely to help them jog their memory.
- Did you know less than a quarter of people know exactly where the nearest fire extinguisher is at any given time? This is a pretty frightening fact. It indicates just how crucial evacuation planning is to overall fire safety.
- Exercises and assessments should be used as part of your training to ensure staff are confident in their specified duties.
- Staff should also be trained and retrained in the fire action plan, in line with the unique risks present to the premises over time.
- Don’t forget, your organisation must elect an Emergency Planning Committee and train them in accordance with your facility’s evacuation response plan.
Did you know?
Section 43 of the Work Health & Safety Regulation 2017 states that the property owner or manager of a facility is responsible for ensuring your emergency evacuation plan remains effective and in place. Failure to do so can result in penalties of up to $30,000
Need some help planning your emergency response plan? 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.