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Fire Evacuation Drill

Under UK law, specifically the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, employers are required to conduct fire risk assessments and to act to lower workplace fire risk. This includes conducting frequent fire drills to ensure that staff members are prepared for a fire emergency.

An evacuation drill helps to evaluate the effectiveness of the emergency plan and consolidate staff training. It is required by law and there are penalties for non-compliance. The relevant British Standard advocates that a fire evacuation drill should be carried out at least once but preferably twice a year (6 monthly). This is dependent on the size, nature of operations and occupancy characteristics.

The fire drill, amongst other items, needs to take account of the following:

  • Testing of active & passive fire systems and ensuring their correct operations.
  • Practicing the procedure adopted within the building, to test its effectiveness.
  • Allowing fire wardens and fire incident controllers practice in their roles.
  • Demonstrating suitable procedures are indeed in-place, rehearsed & effective.

How do you know what to do?

Unless you have received suitable training, you don't.

Fire warden training does not necessarily qualify you to undertake fire evacuation drills.

There are a number of areas needed to be addressed during a fire evacuation drill.

These can be divided in to two categories:

  1. RSET (Required Safe Escape Time)
  2. ASET (Available Safe Escape Time)


  • Detect the fire.
  • Sound the alarm.
  • Occupants to recognise the alarm.
  • Occupants to respond to the alarm.
  • Travel time.


  • Alert time from fire initiation to detection/ recognition.
  • Pre-movement time by behaviour that diverts an individual from the escape route.
  • Travel time to physically get to an exit.
  • Flow time i.e. how long it takes for the occupants to move through the various stages.

Other Areas to Be Assessed:

  • Class of building.
  • Optimum escape time.
  • Actual escape time.
  • Distance of travel.
  • Density factors.
  • Fire exits.

These are just a few areas needed to be assessed within a suitable fire evacuation strategy. Implementing all the above and more, into the fire evacuation procedure is a professional service.

Here at H&K Safety Services can help in a number of ways.

  1. We can conduct a suitable fire risk assessment.
  2. We can implement a suitable fire safety management plan.
  3. We can conduct a suitable fire evacuation drill.
  4. We can assess your current drill & fire wardens.

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If you have any further questions or require any more information about this services, please get in touch with us.

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