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How Often Should You Hold Fire Drills?

Emergency lighting in a stariwell

Fire drills are a necessary practise to ensure everyone in your building can get out in the event of an emergency. It takes time to learn the steps of a drill and it’s something that you’ll need to practice again and again until everyone knows exactly what to do. 


In an emergency, many people react in an instinctive way. Often, that instinct tells them to do what they’re used to doing. If you’ve held plenty of fire drills, everyone will react as they should, moving to the escape route and getting out of the building quickly and calmly. Without a clear plan, there is often chaos - and that is where people get hurt, or worse. 


How often should you hold fire drills?

It’s a good idea to hold a drill every two or three months, but there are other reasons to do it more often. Many businesses that don’t have any real fire risk hold annual fire drills and this is completely acceptable. However, you do need to be sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency. 


When you first create the escape plan, it’s a good idea to practice it several times with everyone present. From there, you can do drills from time to time. These should be more frequent to start with and then you can begin to spread them out over time. 


Any time the building or escape routes have changed, you should practice the fire drill again. This is necessary to ensure everyone is aware of the new procedures. It’s also a good idea to have more frequent drills if your staff turnover rate is high. New employees should know the routes and what to do if there’s a fire. 


Why you need a fire risk assessment

It’s a good idea to carry out a fire risk assessment, as this will indicate what needs to change for your emergency plan to be effective. It will identify the dangers in your building and you’ll have a list of suggestions for making changes to increase the security of the building. This is one of the best ways you can ensure everyone is safe inside the building, even if a fire breaks out. 


The fire assessment will also let you know how fast everyone should get out of the building. This is usually less than two minutes. You can then practice the drill until your employees can safely get out of the building in that amount of time. It will identify alternative routes to escape the building, in case the main route is blocked. 


If you want to keep everyone safe in your building, it’s a good idea to hold random fire drills. You should be sure that everyone in your building has a way to get out and knows where to go. 


Ready to get a fire risk assessment done on your building? EK Fire Protection can help. We provide a wide range of fire safety solutions to help our clients protect themselves and their properties, including expert fire safety risk assessments. These assessments help you understand where the threats and risks are and what you can do to avoid falling victim to fire. Put safety first - contact us today.

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