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Introduction to this document

Fire evacuation record

Once you’ve identified your evacuation routes, procedures etc., your next step is to test that they work. During the test an observer should formally record facts and figures which should then be used to identify whether or not your procedures work effectively. 

Fire drill

Creating emergency procedures, evacuation routes etc., is the first step in fire management. The second, and most important stage, is ensuring they actually work. The only way to check this properly is to carry out a fire drill. However, simply setting of the fire alarm, standing back and watching your staff evacuate isn’t sufficient, you will need to formally record the event, provide a critique of it and whether there were any issues, e.g. staff take too long to evacuate and identify actions to rectify the situation. To create this record, use our Fire Evacuation Record Document.

Completing a successful fire drill

How often should you do it?

Every six months is the recommended interval and this will ensure your employees have a good knowledge of the evacuation procedure. 

Should it be a surprise?

Although you may like to “spring” fire drills on people, it may not always be applicable to do so as the health and safety risks may outweigh the benefits, e.g. a drill in a doctor’s surgery.  If you’ve members of the public on your premises it’s a good idea to hold a drill with them present. This will also test how effective your evacuation procedure is. But ensure you take into account all the health and safety issues before doing so.

Tip. If your system is linked to an alarm-receiving centre, make sure you inform them before it’s activated.


Provide guidance

If you’ve more than one exit, you may want to direct people away from one of them.  This will ensure that staff know of all the exits. 

Once everyone is outside at the meeting point conduct roll calls and ensure all visitors/clients/contractors are safely outside too. 

Conduct a review

After the fire drill hold a de-brief meeting with all fire marshals and deputy fire marshals, and any observers, to discuss any problems encountered, for example establishing who was present during roll call, any problems with doors, exit routes, did people close windows and doors etc.