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Fire Escape

Need help? Need help? Follow our expert fire escape planning guide Everything you need to create an effective fire escape plan

Putting a fool-proof fire escape plan in place is vital to avoid any serious injury, loss of life or severe legal consequences. Fire escape route regulations in the UK state that a fire exit isn’t just a final escape door, but also the escape route that leads from each part of the building to the exit.
Thorough fire escape planning includes a well-defined escape route that is clearly signed, with a designated external assembly point, as well as several other vital considerations for which you are responsible.

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Comprehensive Fire Escape Plans Will Save Lives

In the unlikely event of a fire emergency at your workplace, ensuring the safety of the people in the building is of vital importance. Burns and being overcome by gas and smoke are the primary causes of fire related death in the UK. According to government statistics in 2018 over 300 people lost their lives due to fire related injuries. With careful planning, clear signage and in-depth training you can help prevent a devastating injury or worse occurring in the event of a fire.

What is required by fire escape route regulations UK?

UK Government Fire Safety regulations should be carefully studied to ensure that you are complying with current legislation, but as a general guide, most buildings will need at least two fire escape routes.

A fire escape route can be protected or unprotected but must be clearly signed. The final exit door must lead not only to a safe place outside the building but also to a space that will allow for the rapid dispersal of evacuated persons. You must enable them to put a safe distance between themselves and the building, as well as any smoke or other hazards that the burning building may contain.

The Fire Safety Advice Centre stresses that your fire escape plan should include a place of relative safety, such as a protected stairway, beyond a fire door that leads to a final exit, and a place of ultimate safety, in the open air, “where unrestricted dispersal away from the building can be achieved”.

When devising a fire escape plan, the most important factor is to design ways of evacuating everyone as quickly and as safely as possible. Fire escape routes should be well-lit, unobstructed, and must lead to the final exit as directly as possible, by utilising our wide range of Photoluminescent Signs you can ensure that even in low light conditions people can be lead to safety. Fire doors and exits should open in the direction of travel, and doors along the escape route should be secured in such a way that they are quick and easy to open by any employee or visitor to the building.

Regular checks of each fire escape route should include:

  • Ensuring that no equipment has been stored in such a way as to obstruct part of the escape route
  • That the entire route is well maintained and adequately lit
  • That all signage is still in place and unobstructed

Where do I place fire escape route signs?

Fire escape route signs must make the entire escape route clear. Not only should fire doors be clearly marked, but signs should continue to guide people to safety by indicating the route out of the building. For example, Fire Escape Signs should point down a stairway towards the final exit from the building and should also guide people to the external assembly point, which must also be clearly signed.

Other important fire safety signs include a Fire Action Notice, describing what to do in the event of a fire, and safety signs showing the location of fire-fighting equipment such as Fire Extinguishers and Fire Blankets.

Fire escape planning tips

Fire escape routes should be located as far apart from each other as possible, to prevent a fire blocking the route to more than one exit. All new employees should be briefed on fire safety and fire escape routes as part of their induction. Regular fire drills a safe distance from the building, for an accountability check, just as would happen in a real fire.

  • Carry out a fire risk assessment of your building, this will help to show areas that need improving to ensure you comply fully with current fire safety legislation.
  • Test your fire alarm system regularly, use smoke alarm tester kits to easily check the functionality of your fire detection system.
  • Designate a fire warden at your workplace, this person then becomes responsible for ensuring the safety of others and leading them through your escape route to the designated safe meeting space.

Good fire escape planning saves lives, as do regular drills. Both are well worth the small amount of time and inconvenience required.

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