Why are fire drills important?
Fire drills, particularly if they are mandatory and unexpected, can dramatically reduce fear, should the worst come to happen.
Exercises for your staff should be held regularly to ensure the smooth operation of the procedure for dealing with an emergency.
Download our guide to fire drills and evacuation procedure for commercial premises (size 83kb)
The training of staff should provide for the following:
- all members of staff should receive a personal copy of prepared written instructions, and initially should receive two periods of at least half an hour verbal instruction given by a competent person. Such instruction should include details of how to call the Fire and Rescue Service
- these two periods should be given within one month and, in the case of newly engaged staff, this should be as soon as possible after appointment
Follow up instruction
After the initial instruction, all members of staff should receive at least half an hour verbal instruction, given by a competent person, as follows:
Premises which are in use throughout the year:
- at least once in every period of six months for employees engaged only on daytime employment
- at least once in every period of three months for employees who are at any time engaged on night duties
Premises having only seasonal use:
- at least once during the period in which the premises are open, preferably at the beginning of such period
- exercises which may be combined with the instruction, should be carried out once in every period of 6 months
- the exercise should include a simulated evacuation drill with the assumption that one escape route is not available
- each exercise should be started at a pre-determined signal and the whole premises checked as if evacuation were in progress
- exercises, which may be combined with the instruction, should be carried out once in every period of six months and should take the form of a walk-over the escape routes, checking fire doors, the position of the fire alarm points, fire equipment and emergency lighting
One specific person should be made responsible for organising staff training and for co-ordinating the actions of the staff in the event of fire.
Effective arrangements should also be made for a nominated deputy to be available to carry out the above duties.
Does the Fire and Rescue Service have to be notified when a fire alarm test / fire drill takes place?
If your automatic fire alarm system is monitored by an independent monitoring company, who would contact us whenever your fire alarm is activated, then we need to know before you carry out the drill. If it is not, there is no need to contact us, although you may wish to advise your neighbours to prevent them from calling us.
A record of the training and instruction given to staff and exercises held should be recorded. Provision is made in our fire safety log book for this purpose.
Information on fire safety log books
Download extra firefighting instruction and drills log sheets (size 38kb)