As a property owner, it is essential to be prepared for any emergency that could arise. One of the most important is a fire, which makes knowing your fire escape plan a matter of life or death. Taking the time to map out a Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan (FEEP) and practising it with all occupants of your building will ensure you are ready should a blaze occur. Read on as we explain how to get the most out of your fire escape plan.

What is a fire escape plan?

Staying safe and calm in the event of a fire is crucial. A Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan (FEEP), or fire escape plan, clarifies roles, outlines steps to be taken by staff and building occupants, and establishes arrangements for notifying the fire brigade in the event of a fire. When implemented effectively with clear, easy-to-understand instructions, FEEPs can ensure everyone is evacuated safely, and the blaze is dealt with appropriately.

What should a fire escape plan include?

A fire escape plan should be clear, easy to understand and contain all the necessary details about how and where people should evacuate in the event of a fire. It should detail clear passageways to escape routes that are clearly marked and direct as possible, emergency doors and lighting, relevant training requirements, and a safe meeting point. Read this helpful guide for more information about how to write a fire evacuation plan.

How often should you check your fire escape route?

In addition to meeting fire regulations, checking your fire escape routes will help to keep building occupants safe. But how often should you check your fire escape route? According to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) should be undertaken “regularly” and as soon as any significant changes are made to a building. So naturally, that vague guidance leaves some room for interpretation.

However, at NW Fire Solutions, we would always advise that you err on the side of caution. As such, we recommend reviewing your fire escape routes annually, at the very least. We would also strongly encourage you, your Responsible Person, and your employees or occupants, to remain vigilant at all times. Maintaining vigilance can ensure that all escape routes are kept unobstructed and free of combustible materials.

What are the current fire escape window regulations in the UK?

Fire escape windows play an integral role in most Fire Emergency Evacuation Plans, providing a safe evacuation route to occupants. UK-based dwellings must meet minimum legal requirements for fire escape windows. In accordance with the government’s Approved Document B (fire safety) Volume 1: Dwellings of The Building Regulations 2010 for England, windows providing emergency escape should comply with all of the following stipulations:

  • They must provide an unobstructed minimum opening area of 0.33m squared.
  • They must have a minimum dimension of 450mm in width or height.
  • The bottom of the openable area must be no more than 1100mm above the floor.

All habitable rooms (so that does not include kitchens, bathrooms or utility rooms) that do not open into a hallway leading directly to an exit door must have fire escape windows installed. In addition, first-floor habitable rooms up to a height of 4.5m that do not have access to a protected stairway should also have fire escape windows. Beyond 4.5m, fire escape windows are no longer viable, and a protected stairway becomes a necessity. 

Stay safe and compliant with NW Fire Solutions

At NW Fire Solutions, we are passionate about helping our clients stay safe and comply with fire safety regulations. Our experienced team of fire safety consultants can help you to develop a Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan (FEEP) for your workplace or property. We also provide a wealth of holistic fire safety management services that will ensure you meet your legal obligations and maintain the health and safety of building occupants. 

With more than a decade of experience as a proactive and successful fire safety company, NW Fire Solutions is composed of chartered fire engineers, health and safety professionals, and dedicated surveyors and assessors. Working together as a team of fire safety experts, we are passionate about delivering comprehensive passive fire protection solutions that make fire safety management as simple as possible. As such, we can help to reduce your stress levels and assist you to put the necessary safety measures in place.

So, whether you need a fire door survey, fire risk assessment or fire safety training, NW Fire Solutions can provide everything you need to remain compliant. Minimise risks and protect your people, property and peace of mind with NW Fire Solutions’ first-class fire safety management solutions. Contact us today on 0151 665 0124 or for more information about how we can help you.