Fire drills after the Covid 19 shutdown
Fire drills after the Covid 19 shutdown, may not be a priority following your return to work. Whether it is a practice drill or an alarm activation, you and the staff need to know what to do to keep safe!
Here are a few tips and considerations towards your business needs to complete the evacuations;
For alarm activations;
In terms of the fire evacuation after the Covid-19 pandemic, you need to base this around risk. If there is a definitely a fire in the building, then this overrides the Covid-19 risk and therefore everyone needs to evacuate. However, this brings up the point that staff need to investigate the fire alarm activation prior to commencement of any evacuation. To investigate, staff must be trained to fire warden level, so you need to consider each building based on their current evacuation plan and level of training.
A suggestion that may suit can allow for people on each floor to report in. So thinking of a multi-floor office block or a large industrial area for example; so when the alarm sounds ,trained staff sweep their own floor or area and either radio or phone a senior member of staff who can silence / reset the alarm or alert an evacuation.
This works to protect staff from as it stops any unnecessary evacuations and no-one from your staff need to interact with another department.
For fire drills;
Again, this needs to be based on risk, and I am not keen to mix large numbers of people through fire evacuation routes, stairs and assembly points without a genuine need to!
I would suggest as an interim measure that each floor or different work areas are evacuated separately. Again, using an multi-storey office building as an example, the tenant on the 2nd floor is advised that we are completing a fire drill on wed 10th at 10am, which will be initiated by a call from reception / H&S team etc. This tenant / staff on this floor only evacuates to the assembly point. The following week is another tenant etc. This requires a bit more involvement, but can be achieved and is safe.
Completion of your fire evacuation drills are a key part of the fire safety of the staff and allows the staff to be aware of the procedures to be followed if the alarm sounds.
The drills are also a legal requirement and you cannot stop completion of the drills due to social distancing etc!
We would be delighted to provide free advice on completing fire drills in your building, just give us a call!