How often should you check your fire escape route? Fires are a frequently recurring natural phenomenon, which cause large-scale devastation in all parts of the world, and result in precious losses of life and property damage. The best way to avoid accidental fire outbreaks, is to stay vigilant and exercise great care in utilizing items that can aid the fire to initiate and spread outwards.
However, human beings can only stay careful for so long, and it is only a matter of time a fire breaks out due to any reason. In order to be better prepared for such types of emergency scenarios, there are many fire safety precautions mandated by the UK government, necessary to be carried out by the designated Responsible Persons of each building.
One of the most critical aspects to strengthen fire safety of a building, is to have a well-planned fire escape route in each building.
A fire escape route is a designated path in every building, which allows the building’s residents to safely evacuate towards the outside in case of fire. It is an essential component of fire safety measures in a building.
However, simply having a fire escape route is not enough. In order for this pathway to be effective during an emergency situation, it should be located at places(s) within the building where all residents can reach out with relative ease, and it should also be maintained properly all the time to ensure that no unforeseen problems occur when it is needed the most.
The frequency of checking fire escape routes depends on the type of building. Fire escape routes in small houses and buildings should be checked at least once a year. High-risk buildings such as schools, hospitals, houses with multiple occupancy (HMOs), and skyscrapers should increase the number of times fire escape routes are checked throughout the year. The reason behind that is that these types of buildings contain more people and occupants inside them, which increases the probability of a fire danger, and hence the increasing vigilance towards the fire escape routes.
People checking these routes should also keep in mind that in cases of emergency (such as a fire outbreak), more and more people are likely to head towards those exits in a state of panic, and the fire exits may get overwhelmed under such pressure, and might put people’s lives in danger.
The chances of fire initiation and spread are increased for buildings situated in certain types of areas, such as chemical plants and forests. The probability of a fire starting out and spreading quickly increases manyfold in these particular vicinities, and buildings situated in closer proximity should be checked more often.
Buildings under construction, or going renovation should also emphasize frequent checks to ensure that their fire escape routes are in good working order. Also, if a building has experienced expansion in recent times in the form of new rooms and areas, then it becomes important to check fire escape exits, in order to determine whether they still remain accessible and effective in light of new changes to the building’s layout.
Responsible Persons are tasked with checking the fire escape routes of each building. However, experienced fire safety risk assessment professionals are the best people for this job, because they have been doing this for many years, and know what possible problems might exist in fire escape routes that might escape the assessment of a common person.
Examination of fire escape routes is a critical aspect of fire safety protocols. While an inspection of these pathways at least once a year is considered a bare minimum, the frequency of required checks varies depending on many factors. The type, layout, and surroundings of the building are of paramount importance among things to consider, as well as the number of residents and the overall chances of fire spread in the area. For high-risk buildings, or buildings situated in high-risk areas, the frequency of checks should be increased accordingly, in order to ensure fire safety of all residents.
Fire escape routes should be checked frequently while keeping in mind factors such as total occupants, the accessibility of the escape routes, and the overall effectiveness of such exits.
1. Detailed plans/layout of the building
2. Identifying each section separately
3. Escape routes from each room
4. Emergency plan for disabled people
John Adrian is a seasoned assessor in various environmental hazard fields and has combined his evaluation nous with an impressive know-how about all the rules and regulations concerning environmental hazard evaluations such as Fire Risk, Legionella Risk, and Asbestos Risk. He has been utilizing his knowledge to help people conduct necessary hazard assessments and ensure compliance with concerned government regulators.
The keen passion of Fire Safety Risk Assessment is to offer professional services, delivered in a timely manner. For all businesses, commercial premises & landlords, FSRA keeps your businesses safe controlling the risk of loss from fire hazards, asbestos risks and from legionella bacteria.