What is a fire assembly point?
Fire assembly points are referred to as a “place of safety” for employees to run to in case a fire breaks in their workplace. It is the most appropriate area where everyone in the building can be accounted for.
Having a fire assembly point is an important factor to consider when creating an emergency management plant for your building. It is not just a legal requirement but it also helps ensure the safety of employees.
Choosing a Fire Assembly Point
Here are the factors that you may want to consider in choosing the best fire assembly point for your workplace:
Is it wide enough?
One of the most important factors that you should consider in choosing a fire assembly point is its size. It should be big or wide enough to accommodate everyone in the workplace. It should not be crowded once all employees assemble in the place.
If the possible options for your assembly point are not wide enough to accommodate everyone, you may consider having two assembly points. You can apply this when you have many exit points, especially when the chosen area is too far to access which brings us to the next factor.
Is it accessible?
Accessibility plays an important role in choosing a fire assembly point. It should not add stress to employees evacuating the building. And it should be easy to find and locate. The route to the fire assembly points should not be obstructed, so the flow of traffic would go smoothly.
Where is it located?
Generally, a fire assembly point should be open and flexible. This means that it should not be a dead-end or enclosed where people may get trapped. So, if you’re thinking of designating the park in front of the building as your rallying point, think again.
It should also not be a road or a car park where access for emergency service vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks may be blocked. And the area should be well-lit and the proper signage is placed accordingly.
How far is it from the building?
Fire assembly points should be at least 15 metres away from the building. This provides an ample distance to keep people safe from smoke, fire and debris. The distance also allows extra safety measures in case the building collapses due to the fire.
Now, that you know what you should look for in choosing the best rallying point for your workplace, let’s discuss why fire assembly points are important.
Importance of Fire Assembly Points
Having a rallying point in case fire breaks offers a sound solution to employees to prevent them from panicking in such a stressful situation. It helps prevent people from scattering while ensuring that every headcount is accounted for in case of a disaster.
In cases where your workplace is receiving visitors or customers, it would be easier to direct them to a safe place. It can also be helpful for emergency service providers to treat injured persons.
Other Important Things to Remember When Choosing a Fire Assembly Point
Backup Rallying Point
Having a backup rallying point is a must when creating an emergency management plan. It helps ensure that in case the designated assembly point is not available when fire breaks, there is another safe place for employees to run to.
Let’s say, you used the assembly point as a temporary marketplace for your company’s anniversary activities, when suddenly, fire breaks in the kitchen. In which case, a backup rallying point can be helpful to evacuate everyone in the building.
Everyone Should be Informed
Most important of all, you have to inform each and everyone in the building where the fire assembly point is. Unless they are informed where it is can evacuation plans work smoothly – whether in drills or during actual emergencies.
Employees should know even the backup location in case the original location is not available. This can also help them direct visitors or customers in the right direction during a disaster.
Can be Used in Other Emergencies
Lastly, fire assembly points should also be available for other emergencies like bomb threats and earthquakes.
What is the role of fire wardens concerning assembly points?
In essence, fire wardens are responsible for leading the evacuation process and liaising with various emergency assistance providers. Part of their job is to attend extensive training to help enhance fire safety management in the workplace. This includes training for proper fire extinguisher handling and evacuation route facilitation.
Generally, there should be one fire warden assigned for every floor or level of the building. However, it is imperative to assign at least two deputies in case of absences and to better control the crowd.
Remember that fire is a disaster that can happen at any time. So, you have to always be prepared and well-oriented with what you should do.
Always ask yourself, are you prepared in case of an emergency?
Contact Workplace Emergency Management to learn more!