Selecting your fire assembly area
Choosing a fire assembly point is an important decision. It's vital that you identify an assembly point, this will stop staff scattering without one it makes it almost impossible to know that everyone is out of the building.
Assessing the suitability and location of fire assembly points is one of the major functions of the fire risk assessment process, how occupants egress out of a premises and how this is recorded cannot be understated.
For many premises a single assembly point is sufficient, but you may need more than one, e.g. because occupants need to exit from opposite sides of a building, or due to the scale or complexity of the premises.
How to decide if the assembly point is appropriate.
Is the location is a safe distance from the building
Is the space is large enough for those using it
That it's possible to leave the assembly point unhindered, i.e. not trapped within a locked enclosure or a dead end.
Getting to the assembly point?
Is it possible to travel safely to the assembly area? Some points to consider.
Are final exits clear of external obstructions, parked cars, waste bins, etc?
Is the layout and construction of the route the assembly point, suitable and safe for the using it ?
When deciding on the location of the assembly point, has consideration been given to the dangers from fire engines etc. arriving on the scene?
Do emergency procedures ensure safety en route to the assembly point, e.g. when crossing traffic routes?
Do the premises occupants know where to go and is the fire assembly point clearly identified?
Are the assembly point (s) clearly marked by signs, where practicable ?
The location of the assembly point (s) clearly indicated on fire action notices?
Does staff fire instruction include necessary information about the location of the assembly point(s), hazards, where applicable, and relevant safety procedures?
If there's more than one assembly point, consider whether you have adequate means of communication so that information from fire wardens is able to be passed on to the attending fire officer.