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  • How people are be warned if there was a fire.
  • What staff should do if they discover a fire.
  • How the evacuation of the premises needs be implemented
  • Where people should assemble following leaving the property and procedures for checking whether the premises have been evacuated.
  • Identification of key escape routes, how people can gain access to them and escape from them to a place of total safety.
  • Arrangements for fire-fighting.
  • The duties and identity of staff who have specific responsibilities if there is a fire.
  • Arrangements for the safe evacuation of persons identified as being especially at risk, such as those with disabilities, lone workers and young persons.
  • Any processes that need to be stopped or isolated if there is a fire.
  • special arrangements, if required for high-fire-risk areas.
  • 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.
  • How the fire and rescue service and any other necessary services will be called and who will be responsible for doing this. Procedures for greeting the fire and rescue service on their arrival and notifying them of any special risks, e.g. the location of highly flammable materials.
  • What training employees need and the arrangements for ensuring that this training is given.
  • Phased evacuation plans (where some areas are evacuated while others are alerted but not evacuated until later).
  • 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:
  • Unaccompanied children.
  • People with personal belongings (especially valuables) still in the building.
  • Getting people away from the building (e.g. to transport).
  • Inclement weather.

You should therefore prepare contingency plans to determine specific actions and/or the mobilisation of specialist resources.

Information, Instruction, Co-operation and Co-ordination

Supplying information

You must provide easily understandable information to employees, the parents of children you may employ, and to employers of other persons working in your premises about the measures in place to ensure a safe escape from the building and how they will operate, for example;

  • Any significant risks to staff and other relevant persons that have been identified in your Risk Assessment or any similar assessment carried out by another user and responsible person in the building;
  • The fire prevention and protection measures and procedures in your premises and where they impact on staff and other relevant persons in the building.
  • The procedures for fighting a fire in the premises.
  • The identity of people who have been nominated with specific responsibilities in the building.

Even if you do not have to record the fire risk assessment, it would be helpful to keep a record of any co-operation and exchange of information made between employers and other responsible people for future reference.

You need to ensure that all staff and, where necessary, other relevant persons in the building, receive appropriate information in a way that can be easily understood. This might include any special instructions to particular people who have been allocated a specific task, such as shutting down equipment or guiding people to the nearest exit.

Duties of employees to give information

Employees also have a duty to take reasonable care for their own safety and that of other people who may be affected by their activities. This includes the need for them to inform their employer of any activity that they consider would present a serious and immediate danger to their own safety and that of others.

Dangerous substances

HSE publishes guidance about specific substances where appropriate information may need to be provided. If any of these, or any other substance that is not included but nevertheless presents more than a slight risk, is present in your premises, then you must provide such information to staff and others, specifically you must;

  • Name the substance and the risks associated with it, e.g. how to safely use or store the product to avoid creating highly flammable vapours or explosive atmospheres.
  • Identify any legislative provisions that may be associated with the substance.
  • Allow employees access to the hazardous substances safety data sheet;
  • Inform the local fire and rescue service where dangerous substances are present on the premises.

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