Practising a supervised fire drill is a very useful fire training and practising procedure that can significantly help to reduce the chances of your staff being injured in the event of a fire.
In all offices and workplaces like warehouses fire drill training should be executed at least twice a year. A fire warden will normally have the responsibility of arranging any training drills. The main aim of the fire drill is to create a situation akin to a real fire, to make staff familiar with the evacuation procedures and to then measure the time it takes staff to evacuate the building. The last thing you want is confused staff wandering around and not knowing where to go in the event of a real fire.
Any fire warden in charge of the fire drill procedure should have with them a fire log book to record all incidents, recommendations and notes on safety procedures.
A good tip that all experienced fire safety consultants recommend is that you should try not to give your staff forewarning that a fire safety drill is about to take place, they should come as unannounced. This is so that you can gain a more realistic and practical picture of how your workforce will react in to a evacuation plan in the unfortunate event of a real blaze breaking out. Otherwise if the staff known beforehand that it is a false alarm they may not take the exercise seriously.
Stages in a fire drill:
- Make sure all staff have instructions of and are aware of how to raise the alarm in the event of a blaze.
- A warning alarm will be activated informing all workers that a fire drill is in force.
- Make sure a Responsible Person has been selected and is aware of their duties, which will include calling 999 to alert the fire and rescue service.
- If possible attempt to tackle the fire with equipment like fire extinguishers etc.
- If possible and if time allows advise staff to turn off ell electrical equipment like electric heaters. Also attempt to close all windows and fire doors to stop smoke from spreading.
- Ensure staff do not go up any stairs, insist that they only go down wards, as well as leaving all personal belongings like coats and bags, and not to use lifts.
- Ensure occupants are aware of the evacuation procedure for the building, and where the emergency escape routes and fire doors are.
- Inform all staff where the assembly point is, and advise them not to attempt to re enter the building until the all clear is given.
- The health and safety adviser or warden should conduct a roll call off all employees to ensure everyone is present.
- Once everyone has been accounted for, then switch the alarms off and allow the staff to re enter the building.
- Have a meeting later that same day to review the whole operation and to make notes on those points you could have done better.