Implementing a fire safety plan: why, what and how
When thinking about health and safety in the workplace, one of the core aspects to consider is fire safety and evacuations - who is responsible for managing fire safety, what do you do in the event of an emergency and how do you manage evacuations? In 2017, the UK reported an average of 300 fires a week in workplace buildings; many of which were accidents and while these didn’t end in casualties, it emphasises just how important it is to ensure you have sufficient emergency plans in place in your organisation.
Implementing a visitor management system like Sign In App can improve your fire safety processes, provide you with an up-to-date evacuation list in the event of an emergency and help you to conduct seamless evacuation roll calls. But before we go into how Sign In App can help with fire safety and emergency evacuations, let’s quickly go through the basics of fire safety in the workplace; who is responsible, what you need to do and why you need to have a plan in place…
Why should you have a fire safety plan?
Apart from the fact that the safety of those on site should be one of your highest priorities as standard business practice, there is also various legislation around fire safety which your organisation may need to comply with. For example, in the UK there is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 , in the US fire safety is addressed in OSHA standards and there’s various other pieces of legislation and safety regulations across the world. Failure to comply with these could result in a fine or imprisonment.
Who is responsible for fire safety in your organisation?
According to Gov.uk, you are responsible for fire safety onsite if you are an employer, the owner, the landlord, an occupier or anyone else with control of the premises e.g. facilities manager, building manager or risk assessor.
What do you need to do?
As a minimum, if you are the responsible individual in your organisation, you should:
- Carry out a fire risk assessment (and review regularly)
- Tell staff or representatives about any risks you identify
- Put appropriate fire safety measures in place (and maintain them)
- Create an evacuation plan in the event of emergencies
- Provide information for staff, including fire safety instruction and training
You can also find more information about fire safety and what to do on the HSE website.
Creating an evacuation plan
When creating an emergency evacuation plan for your organisation, you must have:
- A clear passageway to all escape routes
- Clearly marked escape routes that are as short and direct as possible
- Enough exits and routes for all people to escape
- Emergency doors that open easily
- Emergency lighting where needed
- Training for all employees to know and use the escape routes
- A safe meeting point for staff
How can Sign In App help?
From communicating evacuation information with visitors and employees, to making sure everyone is accounted for in the event of an emergency, there’s a number of different ways Sign In App can help with your organisation’s fire safety and evacuation plans.
Share important site safety information
With the messages feature in Sign In App, you can ensure that guests and employees read and accept any important site information such as safety policies and evacuation plans, including making them aware of evacuation points. Messages can be displayed as text documents, PDFs, images or videos, so you can make important safety information as engaging as possible. Employees can also view their nearest evacuation point on our mobile Companion app which is available on iOS and Android; you can also include this information in guest pre-registration emails.
Up-to-date evacuation list where you need it
In the case of an evacuation, it’s absolutely critical that you have access to an up-to-date evacuation list - whether it’s a real emergency or just a fire drill. As Sign In App is a cloud service, your real-time evacuation list can be accessed whenever and wherever you need it on any internet connected device, so you can ensure everyone is accounted for, whether they’re a visitor or staff member.
Efficient evacuation roll calls with Safety+
Goodbye printing lists or collecting visitor books and timesheets! Accessing your evacuation list on any device can make your roll calls a lot more efficient. With our mobile Companion app, appointed fire marshals can mark everyone as present during a roll call from their phone or tablet and easily identify and locate anyone that’s missing. Roll calls can also be timed and reports can be stored for regulatory requirements. Our recent Safety+ release introduced shared evacuation lists which allow multiple fire marshals/employees to mark people as present during an evacuation and make comments which will be updated live in the app for everyone in the report to see and reply to if necessary - perfect for safe and efficient roll calls on sites with multiple evacuation points or large numbers of people.
If you’d like to find out more about Sign In App’s fire safety features, get in touch with the team via live chat, email or phone; all details can be found here. If you want to try out Sign In App in your organisation, you can start your 15 day free trial here.