FIRE EMERGENCY
EVACUATION
PLAN (FEEP)

Find all about FEEP, how to create a FEEP and why it is necessary to have one.

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FIRE EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN (FEEP)

A Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan, or FEEP, is a document that details the activities to be undertaken by the staff members in a fire and the procedures to call the fire & rescue service (FRS). The document may also include other crucial information regarding the FEEP.

Why do we need a FEEP?

A fire can break out anywhere, risking the lives of all people around. In most cases, people are unaware of what needs to be done during the event of a fire. Planning a Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan is one of the most crucial decisions any business can take as it concerns human lives. An ideal FEEP is tailored to the type of business and premises. A well thought FEEP will ensure that the evacuation occurs swiftly and safely if a fire breaks out on the premises.

Who creates a FEEP, and what does it include?

The Responsible Person on all premises, who in most cases are the owners of the businesses or managers or an appointed staff member, is to be trained in fire safety and must develop a Fire Action Plan. According to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, a ‘responsible person’ is defined as the owner or a person who controls or has a degree of control over the premises. This person is responsible for the safety of occupants in the building during a fire by identifying risks and taking suitable measures where necessary.

What does a FEEP include?

The relevant points included in a FEEP are the following:

What needs to be done if someone discovers a fire: The alarm should be sounded immediately and as calmly as possible.

How to contact the Fire and Rescue Service: Even though some fire alarms can automatically notify the fire brigade, staff members should be educated on contacting the emergency services immediately and efficiently.

How the vulnerable people should be evacuated: This calls for planning, considering those who have mobility issues or require support to evacuate. This takes the form of a PEEP – Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan.

What is to be done once the fire alarm sounds: All staff members need to be trained on the actions to be taken when a fire alarm sounds. This may also include evacuation of the premises and assisting the public members to safety.

The location of fire extinguishers and other equipment for firefighting: The staff must be educated on fire safety and aware of where the equipment is located within the building. Moreover, the extinguishers and equipment must be signposted along with instructions on the types of fire they are meant to be used for.

Best evacuation practice: A simultaneous evacuation is adopted in most cases of fire. In a simultaneous evacuation, all the occupants of the premises make their way outside to a safe location. However, in certain premises such as hospitals and care homes, other procedures are sometimes recommended. These procedures include vertical phased evacuations, silent alarms, or a ‘defend in place’ strategy.

Escape routes: The staff members must be educated on the most suitable escape routes to be followed during an emergency. These escape routes should also be signposted to assist visitors or public members at the scene in avoiding panic and confusion.

Assembly point after evacuation: Assembly locations must be predetermined and signposted, and the staff members must be familiar with the assembly points. It is essential to take roll calls once the occupants have assembled outside and must be reported to the person responsible for coordinating with the fire rescue service. Assembly points must be at a safe distance from the building and in proximity for the people in charge to account for those present and report to the fire service. There must also be space to accommodate all who might need to evacuate.

Appointment of fire wardens: Fire wardens must be provided training on the procedures of an emergency evacuation, general fire prevention and safety, and the handling of fire extinguishers. The document should include the activity to be undertaken by staff and the regularity of training.

A detailed risk assessment must be carried out by someone qualified in fire safety and evacuation to provide the basis for procedures outlined in a FEEP.

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