Evacuation Planning

Phoenix STS can ensure you meet all fire evacuation requirements. In the event of a fire, it is a legal requirement under the Fire Services Act 1981 Amended 2003 and the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act, 2005 to ensure the safe evacuation of all people who may be on your premises or in an area under your control. This will include staff, contractors, disabled persons and members of the public.

Our services include

Fully documented fire emergency evacuation plans,

Monitored and documented on-site fire drills and fire evacuations,

Evacuation pad’s and chairs supply and user training.

Safe Evacuation is a Legal Requirement

It is a legal requirement to ensure the safe evacuation of everyone, including impaired persons, in an emergency. There is a common misunderstanding that it is the responsibility of the emergency services (the fire brigade) to ensure the safe evacuation of persons from a building. This is not the case, so who is responsible for fire evacuation?

Today’s legislation stipulates that it is no longer the duty of the fire brigade to make sure the workplace is safe. The duty now lies solely with the ‘person having control’.

The Fire Services Act 1981 Amended 2003, Section 18.2 General Obligations with Regard to Fire Safety states

It shall be the duty of every person having control over premises to which this section applies to;

(a) take all reasonable measures to guard against the outbreak of fire on such premises,

(b) provide reasonable fire safety measures for such premises and prepare and provide appropriate fire safety procedures for ensuring the safety of persons on such premises,

(c) ensure that the fire safety measures and procedures referred to in paragraph (b) are applied at all times,

(d) ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of persons on the premises in the event of an outbreak of fire whether such outbreak has occurred or not.

Section 18.3 General Obligations with Regard to Fire Safety goes on to state

It shall be the duty of every person, being on premises to which this section applies, to conduct himself in such a way as to ensure that as far as is reasonably practicable any person on the premises is not exposed to danger from fire as a consequence of any act or omission of his.

Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act, 2005 Section 11 Emergencies and serious and imminent dangers states

(a) provide the necessary measures to be taken appropriate to the place of work for first aid, fire-fighting and the evacuation of employees and any other individual present in the place of work, taking account of the nature of the work being carried on and the size of the place of work,

(c) for the purposes of implementing the plans, procedures and measures referred to in this section and section 8

(i) designate employees who are required to implement those plans, procedures and measures, and

(ii) ensure that the number of those employees, their training and the equipment available to them are adequate, taking into account either or both the size (a) of and specific hazards relating to the place of work.

The responsibility clearly lies with the building management or service providers to ensure there is a suitable procedure in place to evacuate everyone.  The ‘person having control’ must nominate a sufficient number of ‘competent persons’ to implement procedures in the event of an emergency evacuation from the premises. This calls for an emergency evacuation plan to be in place.

What is an Emergency Evacuation Plan?

An emergency evacuation plan is a legal requirement and normally takes the form of a written document, which includes floor plans showing the location of exits, manual call points etc. the actions to be taken by all staff and nominated persons in the event of a fire and arrangements for calling the fire brigade.

For small premises, this could take the form of a simple fire action sign and floor plan posted in the locations where staff and relevant persons can read it and become familiar with its contents.

In high risk or large premises will need a more detailed emergency evacuation plan which takes account of the findings of the fire risk assessment. In addition, notices giving clear and concise instructions of the routine to be followed in case of fire should be prominently displayed.

What is a PEEP?

A PEEP is a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan. It must be a bespoke escape plan for any individual who may not be able to reach a place of safety (the assembly point) unaided or within a satisfactory period of time in the event of any emergency.

What is a GEEP?

A GEEP is a Generic Emergency Evacuation Plan and would cover the same points as a PEEP, however instead of focusing on an individual person, it will accommodate everyone and any eventuality. All GEEPs will need to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they are still current and suitable.

Phoenix STS has extensive experience in writing emergency evacuation plans for all types of premises in a variety of sectors.

Fire Drills

Drills should be conducted to simulate fire conditions and to test fire procedures. All staff should be conversant with the premises evacuation procedures and take part in fire evacuation drills at least once and preferably twice per year.

The Fire Services Act 1981 Amended 2003, Section 37.3 Fire Safety Regulations states;

(e) the holding of fire safety evacuation drills at specified intervals and the keeping of records of such drills

The regulations may, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing subsections, specify requirements with regard to any of the following

  • The person having control must establish and, where necessary, give effect to appropriate procedures, including fire and evacuation drills, to be followed in the event of serious and imminent danger to any person.
  • A simulated fire evacuation procedure or fire drill as it is more commonly known is required to be carried out by law at specified intervals, this may be annually or more frequently if required by the fire risk assessment or emergency plan.
  • During the process, the means of raising the fire alarm is actuated (manual call point) and the fire procedure is then rehearsed as fully as the circumstances allow. The result of the exercise is then recorded in the fire safety register.
  • Phoenix STS offer a service which will conduct the whole process for you with minimum disruption and will be observed and timed by a member of our compliance team.
  • We will then be able to give you advice on how to improve the evacuation procedure and will complete a post-evacuation report highlighting any actions deemed necessary or improvements that may be required.