The LWF Blog

Facilities Management & Fire Safety – Special Duties in the Fire Procedures – Part 9

August 13, 2018 12:27 pm

In LWF’s blog series for those people who work in Facilities Management, or who have an interest in or responsibility for Fire Safety, we have been looking at what should be contained within an organisation’s Fire Procedures. In part 8 of the series, the duties of a fire warden were discussed. In part 9, the process of accounting for occupants in case of a fire will be outlined.


An effective evacuation is one where each occupant of a building or relevant area leaves the building and attends the evacuation assembly point with no time wasted. As mentioned in part 8, the fire warden will then check their designated area of the building to ensure nobody is left behind. At the assembly point, a responsible person (or persons, depending upon the size of the responsibility) should account for the building occupants.


In some organisations, it might be possible for the responsible person at the assembly point to undertake a roll call using a list of those people who should be present in the building at the time. Such systems are only effective where a sign in/sign out system is in place, or where a key card system indicates who is in the building at any given time.


Where it is not possible to know who should be in the building, the fire wardens will report to the person responsible at the assembly point to confirm that their area has been evacuated. The responsible person can then relay this information to the Fire Service upon their arrival. It is important that any person(s) who could not be accounted for and their possible whereabouts are reported to the Fire Service immediately upon arrival.


An appropriate person should be made responsible for greeting the Fire Service when they arrive at the premises. The purpose is to liaise with the officer in charge and to inform as to the status of the evacuation.  This individual should be familiar with the building layout and the location of any information packs for the use of the Fire Service. They should also be aware of any fire protection measures, building services, alarm controls and be in possession of any relevant available information about the fire itself, e.g. how it started, where it started, when it started.


If specialist roles are included in the staff, such as a building services engineer, they should be on hand to provide any relevant information that might be required.


In part 10 of this series, LWF will look at the role of Security Officers and Senior Management in the Fire Procedures. 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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