June 17, 2012

Fire Drill for Workplace, Building & Home – Fire Safety

Whether you work in large office building, a daycare centre, a warehouse or even a small retail outlet, a fire drill is an important part of a workplace fire protection and fire safety evacuation plan.

In a previous post we talked about the importance of having a fire safety plan in place. In fact it’s mandated under the BC Fire Code for most public buildings.

One aspect of a fire safety plan is the fire drill. Most workplaces require at least annual fire drills. Some places, such as schools, daycare centres, and large assembly areas, require monthly or quarterly fire drills. These are organized and executed by fire safety supervisors.

Appoint a Workplace Fire Warden, Floor Warden or Fire Safety Supervisor

Whether you call them fire wardens, safety supervisors or the fire committee, these are the people who have been appointed by management to take control in the event of a fire or other evacuation-related emergency.

Each workplace within a building will have designated safety supervisors. For large businesses, it’s common to have a fire warden in each department, often the department manager or floor manager, or someone else who works in a managerial capacity. They will organize and execute the fire drill.

So what’s the purpose of a workplace fire drill?

Fire Drills to Assess Fire Safety Personnel – Fire Warden, Supervisor and Floor Manager

Most people assume the objective of a fire drill is to make sure occupants know how to get out of a building quickly. Of course, that’s important. However, the primary objective is to test fire safety supervisors to ensure they’re following fire evacuation procedures correctly and quickly!

Fire Drill Procedures and Safety Checklist – What’s Involved In a Fire Drill?

A comprehensive fire drill involves a re-enactment of a fire or emergency situation including the activation of the fire alarm system.

The following steps and procedures by one or more fire safety supervisors are to be followed and assessed by monitors. Supervisors should know what their particular tasks are.

  • Alert Fire Department of the Fire
  • Intercom Announcement – Tell Occupants to Evacuate the Building
  • Assess whether ‘fire’ is local and extinguishable. If so grab extinguishers or proper suppression devices
  • Monitor the escape route to ensure it is obstacle-free. If impeded, alert occupants to take secondary route or remove impediment if easily removable
  • Assist vulnerable occupants – ie those with mobility or respiratory issues – with complete evacuation.
  • meet with occupants at designated exterior meet-up point to do a head count

That’s basically it. Per BC Fire Code, the fire drill must be documented, indicating date and personnel involved.

Organization and planning are key to both the fire drill and the real thing. Once the fire drill is finished, it’s important for supervisors and monitors to do a follow up to critique performance and discuss unforeseen issues.

Call Active Fire for More Information About Workplace Fire Drills and Fire Protection

A complete fire escape evacuation plan includes a regular fire drill. If you need help to plan or organize your workplace fire drill, or need help developing your fire safety plan, contact us today via our form to the left or call 604-590-0149.