Emergency procedures must be in place to ensure safe evacuation in the event of a fire or power loss within a building according to Irish Standards 3217 2013.Employers are required by law to prepare and revise adequate emergency plans and procedures and provide the necessary measures for evacuation and firefighting of the workplace and to include adequate escape lighting in the event of a fire and power loss.
Employee’s must carry out a risk assessment to ensure that the means of escape in the building is adequate. If, as a result of your risk assessment, you propose making any changes to the means of escape, you should consult the fire authority before making any changes. When assessing the adequacy of the means of escape you will need to consider the following:
- the findings of your fire risk assessment
- the workplace activity, where people may be situated in the workplace and what they may be doing when a fire occurs
- the number of people who may be present, and their familiarity with the workplace
- their ability to escape without assistance
- the size of the workplace, its construction, layout, contents and the number and width of the available escape routes.
All workplaces must have clearly identified means of escape in the event of fire. These escape routes must be kept clear at all times to ensure that everyone can exit the workplace in the event of a fire or other emergency. Arrangements must be conveyed to all those occupying the workplace and particularly to personnel such as fire wardens who assist in overseeing any emergency procedure.