Is Conducting Proper Fire Drills Part of Your Fire Safety Training?

conducting fire drills

There’s no need to talk about how dangerous fires can be – you already know. However, many companies underestimate the need for fire safety training because they aren’t properly aware of everything that needs to be done. Some of the most common mistakes that this training can correct are made during fire drills. If your company is guilty of any of these, we would urge you to arrange training as soon as possible.

No PEEPs for your people

PEEP stands for Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan. Having a PEEP ensures that every member of your team can safely exit the building in the case of a fire or other emergency. People with various disabilities or a health concern that prevents them from following standard evacuation plans will require evacuation plans that take their unique needs into consideration – this is especially true if your offices are situated in older properties that weren’t built with these people in mind. Under normal conditions, physically challenged staff usually take lifts to higher floors, but this can be catastrophic during a fire.   Create PEEPs for everyone who needs one and make sure they’re properly implemented and written in consultation with the individuals concerned

Misunderstanding the purpose of drills

A lot of people think that a drill means simply going through the motions of safe evacuation – this is wrong. It is obviously imperative that everyone knows these basic procedures, but the primary purpose of a drill should be to fully test the efficiency of anyone with special responsibilities, and to get better at safely vacating the building.  Employees with specific roles (Fire Marshals) will need additional fire safety training to ensure that they can perform their duties effectively during any evacuation of a building. These skills can be effectively tested and fine-tuned during fire drills.

Fires don’t spread on schedule, and people can be more panicked when a fire occurs for real, so it’s important to use objectives, records and reviews to properly understand where your procedures can be tightened up. When the drill is over, you should look over the results and provide feedback to employees so that they can improve each time a drill occurs.

Poor planning

Arrange fire drills with as few people as possible and give advanced notice to employees instead of letting them know a few days before. Fire drills are most effective when they recreate the environment of a real emergency. If people know exactly when a drill is on its way, they’ll be unnaturally prepared for it and the practice won’t be as effective. An added benefit of properly planning your drill well in advance of the event is the ability to choose a time and date when it will cause the least disturbance to your business.

Contact us today if you would like a copy of our free Fire Drill Observation Sheet which can be used as a means of capturing key information during your fire drill.

Here at Howlett Health and Safety Services, we have over 25 years of experience in many diverse areas of workplace health and safety, and we’re here to assist you however small your organisation. Get in touch if you think we can help.


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  3. Ray Howlett says:

    Always here to provide practical and proportionate advice. – Ray

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