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Fire Action Plan

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Siblo
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Fire Action Plan

Post by Siblo »

Hi Guys,

Never posted in this section before, this is not my area of expertise. (so be nice)

Following a revamp of procedures we are drafting a new action plan for the fire marshals on site, me being new to the company I have added a line which is hard to swallow for some people.

Following the standard, staff to leave by the nearest safe exit, marshals to sweep their areas, assemble at assembly point, roll call, etc. I have added the instruction that if no persons own up to activating the alarm, and nobody has witnessed any evidence of fire, and nobody knows why we are all stood outside we should (after consulting with the alarm panel) investigate the trigger point to confirm a false alarm.

Please note, I am not in London so standard fire & emergency services response would need confirmation of a fire before attending.

And yet I can not get them to understand I am not suggesting they run into a burning building, just approach area of the trigger and on first confirmation of fire (smoke, smell, visible flames), retreat and call the fire service.

How do/would you guys tackle this situation.

(we are low risk, non residential, no sleeping on site)

Thanks in advance

Siblo

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bernicarey
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Re: Fire Action Plan

Post by bernicarey »

Personally, I think it's an eminently sensible idea.

Everywhere I worked in my long RAF career, from office blocks to aircraft maintenance hangars, all with 100+ employees in the building, key members of supervisory/management would always check the panel to see were it was indicating, then proceed with caution to investigate, unless told by the person who activated it why they had done it. I never had a manually activated alarm unless it was a practice.
I've had plenty of automatic alarms triggered by such diverse things as roosting Owls breaking infrared beams in the roof, and optical flash detectors (designed to detect an explosive fuel ignition) being triggered by lighting reflecting from chrome plated tools!
The panel would always be at the main entrance, so no delay in getting there and checking it.

We wouldn't wait for 5 minutes to see if anyone fessed up as activating.
Situation slightly different because of course we had our own fire service just minutes away, and we could then give them the heads up.

In the case of the typical business premises the local FRS is not going to respond to an automated call until you confirm that it is on fire.
I equally doubt they would be impressed these days with a 999 call that says, 'The alarm has gone off so we're all evacuating', because that is no more use to them than the automated signal.

There always has to be a caveat to this in that it depends on the local circumstances, what the business is etc,but you can internet search for "Fire Service require confirmation of automatic alarms" and you will find plenty of FRS that require confirmation of an actual fire before responding.
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Re: Fire Action Plan

Post by Siblo »

Hi Bernie,

Thanks for the reply, I have reams of printed web pages from services all over the country stating they will not come until its confirmed, I know this is how we should be doing it, proceed with caution, use 2-way radio, never investigate on your own.

Its the wording I'm struggling with to reassure them, all i'm getting back is "Get out, Stay out, Call us out"

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Re: Fire Action Plan

Post by bernicarey »

Siblo wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:38 am

Its the wording I'm struggling with to reassure them, all i'm getting back is "Get out, Stay out, Call us out"
Remind them that statement is in regards to Domestic Residential property only, that's why they run it as TV Advert campaigns; it doesn't apply to business premises.
When people say that, ask them what they think Hospitals do....

Some FRS are very explicit take Devon & Somerset for example https://www.dsfire.gov.uk/YourSafety/Sa ... =4&T1ID=36
Non-attendance to specific premises by property type between 0800-1800hrs
DSFRS current arrangement - Non-Domestic / Non-Residential

Since the 1st November 2013, DSFRS have not routinely attended alarm actuation calls unless the building's occupants can confirm that there signs of a fire. Our non-attendance protocols apply between the hours of 0800 - 1800, Monday - Friday, but only relates to the Non-Residential property types listed below unless a prior risk assessment indicated that other arrangements were necessary:

The property types below are considered low risk with sufficient resources to enable the property to act on their own management procedures and fire risk assessment, to conduct a safe investigation of the building and confirmation of an Unwanted Fire Signal (UFS).

Property types


• Retail
• Offices and call centres
• Industrial manufacturing
• Education
• Entertainment and culture
• Warehouses and bulk storage
• Public administration
• Food and drink
• Sporting venues
• Vehicle repair
• Religious
• Transport buildings
If they are being that pig headed, then ask your local FRS to visit and tell them personally..... :roll:
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Re: Fire Action Plan

Post by Siblo »

Thanks Bernie

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Re: Fire Action Plan

Post by witsd »

Absolutely standard approach for a certain high-street clothing and food store.

Fire marshals would clear the area they were in, proceed to the fire panel, and then whoever was in charge would direct two people (or more sets of two if the trigger point wasn't clear) to the call-point that had been activated.* They would be carrying a phone and an extinguisher (more as a safety blanket that for any practical use!) and they had been trained and trained and trained that they stick together, don't attempt to tackle a fire unless its tiny, and to turn around and walk away at the first sign of fire.

I got a little resistance from some people, but thankfully had enough of a pool to draw upon that there was never an issue getting enough willing personnel.

* For us, it was almost always a call point that had been bumped by something or some dodgy customer. Smoke alarms (or sprinkler alarms) would be treated as certain evidence of fire, as we didn't have any problem with false alarms.
We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we still have to make a study of 'and.'

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Re: Fire Action Plan

Post by Messy »

Let's be clear, the vast majority of fire detection systems are in place to warn the occupants of the risk of fire so that they can immediately take the necessary action- often evacuate the building.

To determine whether there is a fire is NOT rocket science. The fire alarm panel will tell staff if theres more than one head or device activated and a slow methodical search in a medium or low fire risk premises is fairly straightforward

Training, drills and preparation are key. It's important that any sign of fire, and especially a burning smell, crackling noises, dodgy lights, hot walls or doors - should be enough to trigger a 999 fire service request. Theres no need to see smoke or fire.

It is not the fire services job to search. Consider this. Someone knocks on the door of your workplace or home and says theres smoke coming out of the roof. In MOST cases people will look to verify it before making the call.

Training training and training - supported by good managers, some resources like hi vis, 2 way radio and instructions will be required

The London Fire Brigade are bound to go this way sooner or later, so those businesses in the capital should prepare

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Re: Fire Action Plan

Post by Siblo »

Thanks for the input Messy

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