A fire safety management plan details your arrangements to implement, control, monitor and review fire safety standards and to ensure those standards are maintained. The plan describes the arrangements for effectively managing fire safety so as to prevent fire occurring and, in the event of fire, to protect people and property. The following information may give you guidance under Article 11 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. It is without prejudice to anything which may be required by an enforcing authority.
The plan should specify the planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the fire safety measures and fire safety provisions in the premises. For example: -
Adequate planning might include:
How the responsible person proposes to complete the fire safety risk assessment and determine priorities in eliminating any hazards and reducing risks to persons.
Adopting a systematic approach for completing risk assessments to decide on priorities and to set objectives to eliminate or reduce risks.
Selecting appropriate risk control measures.
Establishing performance standards and implementing preventative and protective measures.
This should detail how the organisation is structured and might include:
- How health and safety information is communicated to all employees.
- What employee’s involvement has been in complying with all aspects of the fire safety risk assessment?
- Who will decide on the preventative and protective measures and those involved in implementing them?
- Effective communication systems to employees and other employers or other responsible persons.
- Securing competence by having adequate information, instruction and training.
- A fire safety risk assessment
- An emergency / evacuation plan
- Details of fire drills and practice sessions
- Housekeeping and fire prevention measures
- Arson prevention
- Maintenance arrangements
- Details of fire doors/protected areas
Identify the people (at all levels) who may have responsibility for carrying out the fire safety issues throughout the premises.
Established control measures should:
- Clarify health, safety and fire safety responsibilities.
- Ensure those with responsibilities understand their roles and responsibilities.
- Set specific and measurable standards to judge performance.
- Ensure adequate supervision.
Identify how the responsible person will measure the success of the fire safety policy. This should include regular checks of fire precautions, investigation of causes of incidents and the recording of other relevant information:
- Have a plan and make routine inspections to ensure measures are in place and are being maintained.
- Investigate all accidents to ensure lessons are learnt and procedures altered if necessary.
- Record your monitoring activities and processes.
Identify a regular review procedure to include any identified deficiencies and a process by which they can be rectified. The review should:
- Have mechanisms to ensure remedial work is carried out.
- Have a system to ensure remedial work not done is prioritised and completed.
- Review the management systems to ensure they remain effective.
Fire Emergency Plan
You need to have an emergency plan for dealing with a fire situation. The purpose of an emergency plan is to ensure that the people in your premises know what to do if there is a fire and that the premises can be safely evacuated. If you or your organisation employ five or more people or your premises are licensed or an alterations notice requiring it is in force, then details of your emergency plan must be recorded. Even if it is not required, it is good practice to keep a record. The following information may give you guidance under Article 11 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. It is without prejudice to anything which may be required by an enforcing authority.
You must give clear and relevant information and appropriate instructions to your staff and the employers of other people working in your premises, such as contractors, about how to prevent fires and what they should do if there is a fire. If you intend to employ a child, you must inform the parents of the significant risks you have identified and the precautions you have taken. You must also co-operate and co-ordinate with other responsible people who use any part of the premises. It is unlikely that your emergency plan will work without this.
Your emergency plan should be based on the outcome of your fire safety risk assessment and be available for your employees, their representatives (where appointed) and the enforcing authority.
In very small premises the emergency plan may be no more than a fire action notice. However, in larger more complex premises the emergency plan will need to be more detailed and compiled only after consultation with other occupiers and other responsible people, e.g. owners, who have control over the premises or building.
The emergency plan should be appropriate to the premises and could include: -
a) how people will be warned if there is a fire;
b) what staff should do if they discover a fire;
c) how the evacuation of the premises should be carried out;
d) where people should assemble after they have left the premises and procedures for checking whether the premises have been evacuated;
e) identification of key escape routes, how people can gain access to them and escape from them to a place of total safety;
f) arrangements for fighting the fire;
g) the duties and identity of staff who have specific responsibilities if there is a fire;
h) arrangements for the safe evacuation of people identified as being especially at risk, such as those with disabilities, lone workers and young persons;
i) any machines/appliances/processes/power supplies that need to be stopped/isolated if there is a fire;
j) specific arrangements, if necessary, for high-fire-risk areas;
k) contingency plans for when life safety systems such as evacuation lifts, fire-detection and warning systems, sprinklers or smoke control systems are out of order;
l) how the fire and rescue service and any other necessary services will be called and who will be responsible for doing this;
m) procedures for meeting the fire and rescue service on their arrival and notifying them of any special risks, e.g. the location of highly flammable materials;
n) what training employees need and the arrangements for ensuring that this training is given;
o) phased evacuation plans (where some areas are evacuated while others are alerted but not evacuated until later); and
p) plans to deal with people once they have left the premises.
As part of your emergency plan it is good practice to prepare post-incident plans for dealing with situations that might arise such as those involving: -
q) unaccompanied children;
r) people with personal belongings (especially valuables) still in the building;
s) people wishing to rejoin friends;
t) getting people away from the building (e.g. to transport); and
u) inclement weather.