Fire escape plans explained

A fire emergency evacuation plan (FEEP) is a written document which includes the action to be taken by all staff in the event of fire and the arrangements for calling the fire and rescue service.

Every business must have a FEEP.

You should arrange all the necessary contacts with external emergency services and make them familiar with your fire action plan.

There should be a responsible person nominated to meet the fire and rescue service when they arrived to provide them with any information they require The responsible person should have a good knowledge of the premises and be in contact with the person responsible for managing staff at the designated assembly point.

Your FEEP must show how you 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
– special arrangements for people with mobility needs

Fire detection and warning systems

You must have a fire detection and warning system. You may need different types of detectors, depending on the type of building and the work carried out in it.

Fire-fighting equipment

The types of equipment you need depend on your business premises. You’ll need to have any equipment properly installed, tested and maintained and train your staff to use them if necessary.

Maintenance and testing

You must carry out regular checks to make sure that:

– all fire alarm systems are working
– the emergency lighting is working
– you record any faults in systems and equipment
– all escape routes are clear and the floor is in good condition
– all fire escapes can be opened easily
– automatic fire doors close correctly
– fire exit signs are in the right place

Fire drills and training

You need to train new staff when they start work and tell all employees about any new fire risks.
You should carry out at least one fire drill per year and record the results. You must keep the results as part of your fire safety and evacuation plan.

Enforcement, appeals and penalties

Your local fire and rescue authority visits premises to check the fire risk assessment and fire prevention measures are appropriate. Fire safety officers should help you understand the rules and comply with them.
They can also take action if they think your fire safety measures aren’t adequate. For example, they might issue an informal notice suggesting safety measures.
They could also give you a formal fire safety notice. They’ll tell you how to fix the problems described in the notice.

– Alterations notice
You could get an alterations notice if your premises have high safety risks or will have high safety risks if the use of the premises changes.

– Enforcement notice
You could get an enforcement notice if the fire and rescue authority finds a serious risk that’s not being managed. It will say what improvements are needed by when.

– Prohibition notice
These take effect immediately if the fire and rescue authority thinks the fire risk is so great that access to your premises needs to be prohibited or restricted.

You could be fined or go to prison if you don’t follow fire safety regulations.
Minor penalties can be up to £5,000. Major penalties can have unlimited fines and up to 2 years in prison.

Contact us for more information.