Fire Safety & Awarness
3 Categories of Fire Evacuation
When a fire occurs at home or workplace, taking the proper steps is crucial as immediate actions can help stop or explode the fire. So, keeping calm and taking adequate action can minimise the risk or damage. But for that, you need to know the 3 categories of fire evacuation, steps in the evacuation procedure, your duties and the evacuation plan.
Let’s dig into the blog to learn more details about fire evacuation.
Table of Content
- What is Fire Evacuation?
- What are the 3 Categories of Fire Evacuation?
- What Are the Steps of the Fire Evacuation Procedure?
- What Are My Duties as a Responsible Person?
- What Should I Include in a Fire Evacuation Plan?
What is Fire Evacuation?
The term “evacuation” refers to leaving a facility as quickly and safely as possible. Fire evacuation is removing people and animals from an area in the event of a fire. A good fire evacuation plan includes pets, non-commercial, and commercial animals.
All persons must be evacuated from the area to protect themselves from a fire. When a large fire breaks out in a structure, one of the most typical health and safety practices is to evacuate the area so that the flames and smokes hurt no one.
The most frightening thing about accidents is they can take place anywhere, especially fire. GOV.UK states, “FRSs attended 529,101 incidents in the year ending June 2021; of these incidents, there were 149,779 fires.” The misuse of equipment is the main factor in fires in the UK.
Although statistics on fire sources do not break down by homes and buildings, equipment poses a significant fire danger in businesses and office buildings.
What are the 3 Categories of Fire Evacuation?
While evacuating from a fire, you must keep a few things in mind as all circumstances are not similar and different situations require different procedures. That’s why people created various fire evacuation types based on the situation. Understanding the three categories of fire safety evacuation plans is crucial if you’re responsible for evacuating a building during a fire.
3 types of Fire Evacuation include- vertical or horizontal evacuation, full evacuation, and simultaneous evacuation.
Vertical or horizontal evacuation
The primary technique of exiting a building is vertical evacuation (through a stairwell). Those who can flee with or without help can use stairways. Generally, this refers to taking the stairs to rapidly exit the building for everyone who is usually housed above the ground floor.
Those who can safely leave a building with minimum assistance would benefit most from this strategy. Housing persons with mobility problems on the ground floor should be prioritized whenever possible.
In particular, large buildings structure their evacuation processes and plans to allow for horizontal evacuation, enabling individuals who are not in immediate danger to wait for their departure.
When the alert or emergency is triggered, individuals may need to evacuate horizontally by moving away from a potentially dangerous area to a safer location on the same floor. This type of evacuation becomes necessary when individuals cannot use emergency exit stairs to reach the outside and must remain on a specific floor until assistance arrives.
In addition, you may need to consider both vertical and horizontal evacuation measures, depending on the form and size of your home.
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If the fire alarm goes off or the Emergency Action Team or local authorities assess the situation as extremely dangerous, fire personnel will evacuate the entire building.
A full evacuation can be communicated via the PA system (Public Address System) or text alert in addition to the fire alarm. Everyone should leave immediately when a fire alarm sounds.
Simultaneous evacuation occurs when building residents respond to the alarm by following the specified means of evacuation to a secure location outside the building. Due to the potential of overcrowding along escape routes, this may not be acceptable or practicable for larger or more complicated installations.
These buildings may be structured so that evacuation is first limited to those closest to the hazard, then expanded if necessary. Different alarm signals – a warning and an evacuation signal – are required for this phased evacuation approach.
What Are the Steps of the Fire Evacuation Procedure?
Fire and evacuation alarms warn building inhabitants of a fire or other life-threatening danger. Everyone must move out of the building as soon as they hear the alarm.
To ensure the safety of all building inhabitants in the event of a fire, you should take the following steps:
- Complete any necessary internal departmental or class procedures before an emergency evacuation.
- Department safety wardens, supervisors, laboratory managers, and instructors must ensure that everyone has vacated their area, especially those with mobility issues.
Note: Everyone should include disability evacuation plans in each department’s documented emergency evacuation protocols.
- To get to a safe escape, follow the EXIT signs. Use the stairs instead of the elevator! You should avoid some footwear, such as slippers if you want to go down or flee quickly and safely.
- Do not run; instead, walk quickly and stay to the right to enable emergency responders clear access up the left-hand stairwell.
- Allow the stairwell to be used by others. And let people from that floor enter the stairway as you near the stairway of each floor.
- Keep a safe distance from potential dangers and continue evacuating through the closest safe exit.
Get at least 150 feet away from the building and exit doors once you’ve fled the facility. You should go to the
- Evacuation Assembly Area (safe zone).
- Do not re-enter the building until the “all clear” has been given. Instead, re-enter the facility only with the permission of a fire department personnel or until a recognised authority broadcasts the “all clear” notification.
What Are My Duties as a Responsible Person?
If you’re an employer, the landlord, the occupier, or anyone with control of the premises (such as a facilities manager, building manager, managing agent, or risk assessor) in that case, you’re in charge of fire security in a business or other non-domestic premises. If more than one person is responsible, you must work together to fulfil your obligations.
As the person in charge, you must:
- Do a fire risk assessment of the property and review it regularly
- Inform your employees or their representatives about the hazards you’ve discovered
- Install and maintain suitable fire safety measures
- Prepare for an emergency by providing employees information and teaching fire safety training.
What Should I Include in a Fire Evacuation Plan?
When disaster strikes, many individuals are affected, from employees and family members to customers and emergency personnel. A comprehensive evacuation plan recognises and develops emergency procedures for everyone, including those who require assistance due to impairments or other circumstances.
Check out the following steps to know what you should include in a fire evacuation plan.
Assign roles and responsibilities to all groups
When an emergency arises, chaos can quickly develop, especially if no one knows what to do or who is in charge. Therefore, it is possible to reduce misunderstanding by establishing a transparent chain of command that assigns individual personnel the authority and responsibility for ordering and directing evacuations. Personnel should be responsible for performing her essential activities, such as accounting for all employees, supporting those in need, and shutting down crucial operations.
Alarm and alert systems
Having the proper infrastructure to notify you of a fire as soon as possible is vital: every second counts and every second saved can mean a life saved. In addition, you must have a working fire alarm system that is frequently serviced and maintained.
Routes and methods for evacuation
Your house and workplace’s fire evacuation protocols should contain a specific strategy for how and when people should leave and what they should do once they’ve exited the building. This includes determining departure routes and designating a meeting location.
Ensure that your workplace or building displays the evacuation plan and map of the evacuation route clearly and prominently.
The appropriate sign
Display relevant signage alongside your evacuation plan and map. Place signs that help people quickly identify where to find fire-fighting equipment and specify the type of fire it can extinguish.
Appropriate firefighting equipment
Everyone must have access to some essential firefighting equipment (fire extinguishers, fire hose reels, and fire blankets). When a fire starts, it can sometimes be quickly put out before it spreads. The equipment should be easily accessible, with no obstacles such as furniture or containers in the way.
It’s also crucial to have the correct fire extinguishers – for a fire caused by flammable liquid, you’ll need dry powder or foam extinguishers, and for electrical fires, you’ll need carbon dioxide extinguishers. You should maintain all fire equipment regularly, and workers should get training to guarantee correct use.
Fire drills and alarm testing
Make sure everyone in your building and workplace understands what to do in the event of a fire. The best method is to practice exercises. Here everyone can go through a simulated evacuation and know where they need to go and what they need to do. You should also test alarms regularly to ensure that they work and that personnel are familiar with their sound.
Most people believe that taking preventative measures is better than waiting for something to happen and then trying to fix it. Similarly, it is wise to take steps to prevent a fire from spreading before it becomes a bigger problem. To ensure that the fire is under control and there is no chance of its expanding, you should learn about the fire prevention and evacuation procedure.
So that you can help minimise the risk and loss. Hopefully, you learned about the 3 Categories of Fire Evacuation, your duties in the evacuation procedure and the evacuation plan.
What type of evacuation is used in hospital wards?
Horizontal evacuation is used in hospital wards. Horizontal evacuation refers to leaving the dangerous area and going to a safer location on the same floor as where the person was when the alert or emergency occurred.
First, relocate the patients who are in immediate danger. A lead nurse should direct them to a secure area. Most at-risk patients should be moved first (non-ambulatory and ambulatory). Ambulatory patients should be referred to a safe location.