The LWF Blog

Facilities Management & Fire Safety – Special Duties in the Fire Procedures – Part 7

July 31, 2018 10:54 am

In LWF’s blog series for those who work in Facilities Management or who have an interest in or responsibility for fire safety, we have been discussing how the Fire Procedures in an organisation should be compiled and what elements must be present. In part 6 of the series, the action that should be taken upon hearing the fire alarm was laid out and in part 7, the procedures for special duties will be discussed.


The first special duty to be considered is the person who will be responsible for summoning the Fire Service. Many organisations name a particular post within the organisation as the designated person, as it would not be prudent to name an individual. For example, if a receptionist is always on duty and runs the switchboard, it would make sense for that post to be named, but not to name ‘Janet’ as the individual can be absent or unavailable.


Once it has been decided which post will call the Fire Service, the procedure for doing so must be established and laid out clearly. While it may seem obvious that the incumbent will be responsible for calling 999, asking for the Fire Service and giving the address of the premises, it is worth planning.


The Fire Procedures should include the exact way the address will be given to ensure that the fire control operator is able to locate the premises, bearing in mind that it is probable they will not have any local knowledge.


Fire Controls are centralised and therefore the recipient of the emergency call must receive information that can be input into the computer accurately and quickly to ensure an efficient response by the Fire Service. In cases where the address may seem overly complex or confusing, the Fire Service can be consulted in advance as to what information will be required.


As a rule, the information given must include the name of the company or organisation; the correct postal address including area or district, town and postcode; the telephone number and a brief of the circumstances, e.g. fire on the third floor, fire in the basement, or automatic fire alarm.


If the building in question is complex, the call should also include information about the most appropriate entry point for the Fire Service.


While all the information for the post incumbent should be contained within the Fire Procedures, it will be necessary to ensure that each person who takes over the role, even if only to cover for a break, is made aware of what may be required. It may be prudent to produce a card or notice for that area to ensure the information is to hand by the telephone.


In part 8 of LWF’s series on Fire Procedures and special duties, we will look at Fire Wardens. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact Peter Gyere in the first instance on 0208 668 8663.


Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings. 


While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.


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