Fire Safety

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter informs staff of their responsibility to be vigilant and how to follow the correct procedures to minimise the risk of a fire in a Childhood First Home.

RELEVANT CHAPTER

Sleeping In and Night Security Procedure

AMENDMENT

This chapter was slightly updated in regard to The Gables House assembly point is on the lawn in front of the house.



Contents

1. Responsibility
  1.1 Director/Registered Manager
  1.2 Senior Member of Staff/Team Leaders
2. Recording
3. Equipment
4. Fire Drill
5. Training
6. Fire Emergency
7. On Discovering a Fire
8. On Hearing the Fire Alarm
9. Head Office
10. Contingency Plan if the Fire Alarm System is Out of Action
11. Evacuation
12. Evacuation Plan for those with Mobility Devices
13. Sweep Back Plan
14. Setting and Resetting the Fire Alarm
15. Assembly Points
16. Fire Prevention
17. Procedures for Any Period in which the Premises are Left Unoccupied
18. Routine Attention


1. Responsibility

1.1. Director/Registered Manager

The Director/Registered Manager is responsible for consulting with the local Fire Authority and ensuring adequate precautions are taken against the risk of fire. This must include the adequate provision of equipment, adequate means of escape, and adequate arrangements for:

  • Detecting containing and extinguishing fires;
  • Giving warning of fires;
  • Evacuation in the event of fire;
  • The maintenance of fire equipment;
  • Reviewing fire precautions;
  • Testing fire equipment.

Also the Director/Registered Manager is responsible for ensuring staff are trained in fire prevention, and that drills and practices (see Section 4, Fire Drill) are held so that staff and children so far as practicable are aware of the procedure to be followed.

1.2 Senior Members of Staff/Team Leaders

The senior member of staff on duty at the time of an evacuation needing to take place is responsible for ensuring that this happens safely and thoroughly. The senior member of staff should remain at the assembly point at all times to co-ordinate action.


2. Recording

Every Childhood First centre has a Fire Log Book which records everything to do with Fire Prevention including all checks and drills.


3. Equipment

  • Earthsea House and Merrywood House are inspected by Norfolk Fire Authority quarterly, regarding all aspects of fire safety and fire precaution measures and its recommendations are fully implemented. Any deficiencies in the system noticed in the inspection will be noted in the Fire Book and remedial action taken to remedy the deficiency. The Fire Authority is consulted whenever there is significant change made to the use of the premises;
  • Earthsea House and Merrywood House are equipped with a comprehensive range of fire safety equipment including fire doors, fire blankets and extinguishers, smoke and heat detectors, emergency lighting and fire alarm with appropriately placed push glass panels. Fire detection and fire fighting equipment is regularly checked and maintained in good working order.


4. Fire Drill

At least four fire drills take place every year, including evacuation of staff and children, and this will include at least one fire drill held at night. The quarterly drill should take place within 6 weeks of a new child arriving. 

  • All children will be instructed in the actions to be carried out when the Fire Alarm is activated;
  • Fire Drills will involve a full evacuation of the building. The evacuation time should be between 2 and 3 minutes;
  • Recording of Fire Drills will be in the Fire Record Book;
  • Any deficiencies in the system noticed in the drill should be noted and remedial action taken to remedy the deficiency.


5. Training

  • All staff are trained as to what to do in the case of a fire or other emergency. Basic induction training in the first week includes fire safety as does the more comprehensive six months induction. Training with the local Fire Authority is provided annually for all staff and takes place at least once a year. They are familiar with and know how to operate the extinguishers and blankets so that small fires can be dealt with promptly;
  • Children are also informed about fire procedures and shown appropriate Fire Exits on their first day.


6. Fire Emergency Procedures

ALWAYS ACT ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THERE IS A FIRE WHEN THE ALARM SOUNDS AND EVACUATE THE BUILDING.

In the event of fire, the system will be activated by a smoke/heat detector, a break glass being broken or an alarm key switch being turned on. 

Thornby Hall has an automatic link to the fire station. When the alarm sounds. The Day Leader, Evening Team Leader or Night Care Assistant on duty should immediately make a 999 call (or delegate this task specifically to another member of staff) and advise that the fire alarms have sounded at Thornby Hall - this is a check upon the automatic system.

When the alarm sounds - EVACUATE THE BUILDING IMMEDIATELY.  

The senior member of staff will check that all the children are present, and may then delegate staff to search the building for fire, starting at the indicator board in the staff room, if he/she feels this is safe.  IF IN DOUBT, DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO RE-ENTER THE BUILDING.

The senior member of staff should remain at the assembly point at all times to co-ordinate action.


7. On Discovering a Fire

It is the duty of all staff to prevent injury and loss of life. On discovering a fire staff should take the necessary actions to achieve this:

  • Operate the Fire Alarm;
  • Summon the assistance of other staff;
  • Ensure the Fire Brigade is called;
  • Evacuate the children to the assembly point using the safest available route; search all rooms during the evacuation;
  • Do not stop to collect personal items;
  • Establish if any visitors are in the building and evacuate as for the children and staff;
  • Close all doors behind you as you exit the premises;
  • Report to the senior person present and await instruction, giving details of any persons not accounted for;
  • Switch off the oil;
  • Do not re-enter the building or take any personal risk;
  • Only use fire fighting equipment if trained to do so - do not take any personal risk;
  • Inform the 'On Call' person if outside of office hours.


8. On Hearing the Fire Alarm

On hearing the alarm staff should always assume there is a fire in the house and take the necessary action to prevent injury or loss of life:

  • Ensure the Fire Brigade is called;
  • Evacuate the children to the assembly point using the safest available route; search all rooms during the evacuation;
  • Do not stop to collect personal items;
  • Establish if any visitors are in the building and evacuate as for the children and staff;
  • Close all doors behind you as you exit the premises;
  • Report to the senior person present and await instruction, giving details of any persons not accounted for;
  • Switch off the oil;
  • Do not re-enter the building or take any personal risk;
  • Only use fire fighting equipment if trained to do so - do not take any personal risk;
  • Inform the 'On Call' person if outside of office hours.


9. Head Office

What to do if you discover a fire:

  1. Stay calm and do not panic;
  2. Immediately activate the Fire Alarm. Alarms located by rear Fire Exit, the entrance door Fire Exist and at the top of stairs;
  3. Notify the Fire Wardens and follow any instructions issued by them. The Fire Warden will place the emergency call to the Fire Service. The Fire Wardens are Lisa Weil and Caroline Stewart;
  4. If the Fire Alarm has been activated by another organisation in the building, start to evacuate the building (step 6) and notify the Fire Warden if they are not aware of the alarm;
  5. Only tackle the fire if trained to use fire fighting equipment;
  6. Do not stop to collect belongings or make telephone calls;
  7. Exit the building quickly by the nearest and safest fire escape. (Main entrance and fire exit at rear of office). If the alarm has not been activated by Childhood First, the rear fire escape may be the safest (the stairwell is not carpeted or wood panelled); 
  8. Do not use the lifts under any circumstance;
  9. As you exit the building close doors and windows as you go, but only if safe to do so;
  10. Assist any members of staff or visitors with disabilities to evacuate the building, under direction of Fire Warden;
  11. Assemble with other staff and visitors at the Muster Point, outside the front of The Trinity pub on Borough High Street;
  12. Wait at the Muster point where the Fire Warden will take a roll call;
  13. If CHF activated the fire alarm and called the fire service they must brief the fire service on their arrival and the other tenants of the building;
  14. Do not re-enter building until told that it is safe to do so;
  15. Follow any instructions provided by the Fire Service.

Fire Fighting Equipment

  • 1 CO2 extinguisher in meeting room (electrical fires and flammable liquids only);
  • 1 Water extinguisher in meeting room (wood, paper and textile fires);
  • 1 CO2 extinguisher in main officer near photocopier (electrical fires and flammable liquids only);
  • 1 Water extinguisher in main officer near photocopier (wood, paper and textile fires);
  • 1 Fire Blanket on wall in kitchen.


10. Contingency Plan if the Fire Alarm System is Out Of Action

In case that the Fire Alarm is out of action, instead of operating the alarm on discovering a fire, the person is to shout very loudly FIRE, FIRE, FIRE.

Summoning The Fire Brigade On Discovering A Fire:

  1. DIAL: (9) 999;
  2. Ask the operator for The Fire Brigade;
  3. When connected to The Fire Service, state the fire is at - give address clearly;
  4. Do not hang up until the address has been acknowledged.

Floor Plans: Location of Fire Alarm Call Points, Fire Fighting Equipment and Fire Exits.

All staff on induction will be given a tour of the premises to include the location of the above. This process will be repeated in Annual Fire Safety Training.

Safe Operation of Fire Fighting Equipment

Staff will receive Fire Extinguisher Training annually. A record of this is held on the Staff Training Files.

Staff are NOT to tackle a fire unless they have received this training and there is no risk of personal injury.

Do not use a water extinguisher on an electrical fire. All Fire extinguishers have identification as to their contents and application on the side of the cylinder.

Employees and occupants have an obligation not to engage in any action that will render a Fire Extinguisher inoperable or to use it for any other reason other than a genuine need to fight fire.

At Greenfields, Earthsea and Merrywood staff will be instructed on how to change a break glass in their induction and in Annual Fire Safety Training.


11. Evacuation

  • Evacuate the children to the Assembly Points, using the safest available route;
  • The building should be evacuated calmly, using the nearest available exit and ensuring that all doors around the fire are closed. Children should be escorted from the building by staff to the assembly point;
  • If the alarm sounds at night, do not stop to dress fully but put on a dressing gown and slippers. Staff should be aware that on waking up, children may be disorientated and need close supervision whilst proceeding to the assembly point;
  • When staff and children arrive at the assembly point the person in charge will establish who is present and whether any persons are known to be still in the building. The Visitors' Book should be used to assist in this process. Report to the most senior person present, giving details of any missing persons;
  • In the event of any persons being missing the senior person will implement a Sweep Back Plan insuring all toilets and rooms are checked where this is safe to do so;
  • Evacuation time should be between 2 and 3 minutes.


12. Evacuation Plan for Those with Mobility Difficulties

In the case that we have a visitor that is disabled or a wheel chair user then the person supporting this visitor is responsible to aid that person if they need during the evacuation process.


13. Sweep Back Plan

If the children or other persons are not accounted for a Sweep Back Plan will be implemented. This will involve nominated persons re-entering the building and starting at the furthest point checking all rooms. Staff are only to do this where there is NO personal risk. The senior member of staff should remain at the assembly point to co-ordinate action and should nominate another member of staff to sweep back.

14. Setting and Resetting the Fire Alarm

Silencing Alarm

If it is clear that there is no fire and that the alarm has been set off accidentally, maliciously, or due to a system failure, then the senior member of staff may silence the alarm by.

Re-setting Alarm

Each home has guidance on re-setting the alarm and all staff receive training in this process.

NO ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO RE-SET THE SYSTEM OR TO REPLACE ANY 'BREAK GLASS' OR TURN OFF A KEY SWITCH UNTIL THE SENIOR MEMBER OF STAFF, OR SENIOR FIRE OFFICER WHERE THE FIRE BRIGADE IS IN ATTENDANCE HAS INSPECTED THE CAUSE OF THE ALARM AND HAS GIVEN PERMISSION FOR THE SYSTEM TO BE RE-SET.

Re-entering the Building

No children should be allowed to re-enter the building until the senior member of staff has confirmed that it is safe to do so.


15. Assembly Points

The Earthsea House Assembly Point is situated at the front of the Building in front of the parking bays and is denoted by the red tarmac.

The Merrywood House Assembly point is situated at the front of the property in the car park away from the house.

The Greenfields House Assembly Point is situated in the children's garden or at night, in cold or wet conditions use the cycle shed.

The Greenfields School Assembly Point is situated at the Car Park end of the Playground.

The Gables House assembly point is on the lawn in front of the house.

The Thornby Hall Assembly point during the daytime, all children and staff should assemble in the small courtyard outside the maintenance shop. At night-time, children and staff should assemble in the front lounge, unless the senior member of staff on duty deems this puts people at risk, in which case all children and staff should assemble in the gym. 

TRY AND KEEP THE MAIN COURTYARD, FRONT OF HOUSE AS CLEAR AS POSSIBLE FOR FIRE ENGINES.

The Head Office Assembly Point is situated outside the Trinity pub on the Borough High Street.

Earthsea Reception and School 

Evacuate children to the assembly point at the front of the reception in the car park, using the safest available route. Exit Routes are located at the Main Entrance Door to the Reception and Office Building and the Main Entrance Door to the School. These are denoted by the Fire Signage.

Thornby School

The fire detection/alarm systems in the garage and stable blocks are NOT on automatic call-out.  If the alarm sounds in these areas it would be necessary to dial 999 for the fire service to attend.

In the event of an alarm sounding, each member of staff in the area is responsible for evacuating the children in their session.

Stable block occupants should assemble in the gravelled area outside of the stable yard entrance.

Garage block occupants should assemble in the lower car park next to the wooded area.

One member of staff from each assembly point then needs to physically report the alarm to the Head of School/Deputy Head of School who is then responsible for checking:

  1. That all children and staff are accounted for (with the help of the monitor, and by checking both assembly points);
  2. Whether the alarm is clearly false or is possibly an indication of fire.

If the alarm is clearly false, the maintenance team can be instructed to re-set the system and following this the occupants can be allowed back into the classrooms.

If there is any suspicion of fire, the Head of School/Deputy Head of School should call the fire service and instruct all staff and children to go down to the main house.  In this case no-one should return to the education blocks until given clearance by the fire service and the Head of School/Deputy Head of School.

If it is possible, a member of staff should go to the top of the drive to meet the first fire engine and to give information to the senior fireman.

Greenfields School

On hearing the fire alarm:

  • Children will line up sensibly and in silence in their classroom;
  • Teachers will check children’s toilets;
  • Teachers will lead their class into the playground to assemble at the assembly point (by the main gate in the playground) in silence;
  • Head Teacher will take the register, making sure that all children are present;
  • The Head Teacher or Designated person will ensure all staff are present;
  • The Head Teacher, School Secretary or Designated person will be responsible for phoning the emergency services.


16. Fire Prevention

It is the responsibility of every member of staff to be alert to the dangers of fire and to contribute to preventing fires by:

  • Good house keeping;
  • Clear all rubbish away at the end of the day;
  • At the end of the working day all non-essential electrical equipment is to be switched off and unplugged;
  • We have a NON SMOKING POLICY. There is no smoking on the premises. See Smoking and Alcohol Procedure;
  • All combustible or flammable materials are to be stored safely;
  • Do NOT cover viewing panels in fire doors, cover or obstruct fire safety signage, emergency lighting or introduce any obstacle that may jeopardise the safe operation of fire doors, fire exits or escape routes;
  • Shut all doors and windows at night;
  • Electrical equipment brought in by employees is to be in very good condition.


17. Procedures for Any Period in which the Premises are Left Unoccupied

When the premises are left empty for any period the following checks must take place prior, to ensure the unoccupied building is left safe from fire:

  • All non-essential electrical equipment must be switched off and where possible unplugged;
  • All doors and windows to be closed;
  • The Fire Alarm Panel indicates normal operation;
  • One or two persons are to be designated responsible for this check taking place prior to the door being locked.


18. Routine Attention

The following is a general guide to the routine that should be adopted to ensure that the continued good operation of the system.

Daily

A daily check should be made to ascertain that:

  • The Alarm Panel indicates normal operation; if not the fault indicated is recorded in the Log Book for urgent attention;
  • Any fault warning recorded the previous day has received attention.

Weekly

The following tests should be made every week to ensure that the system is capable of operating under alarm conditions:

  • All zones to be tested in strict order;
  • Ensure fire alarm can be heard in all zones;
  • Check the fire doors close correctly;
  • Check automatic door releases;
  • Visual checks of all fire fighting equipment;
  • Each test to be recorded in the Fire Book.

Any deficiencies in the system noticed in the checks will be noted in the Fire Book. Remedial action will be taken urgently and this also recorded.

For Earthsea: Each time a particular zone is tested a different call point is used. An entry should be made in the Log Book quoting the Call Point that has been used to initiate the test.

Check for a satisfactory operation of the Plant Room Indicator Panel.

Check the Plant Room is empty and clean.

Monthly

Monthly visual checks recorded of:

  • Fire Book

    The fire book will be checked monthly by the Regulation 33 visitor whose reports go to the Registered Manager of the Community (and Director if a different person); the Responsible Individual of the organisation; and the Care Education and Treatment Committee of Childhood First which meets bi-monthly;
  • Emergency lights;
  • All Fire Extinguishers.

Quarterly

Fire-Fighting Equipment and Emergency Lights tested by Fire Service engineer from (community to complete)

Annual Inspection

Annual inspection of the fire extinguishers and every emergency lighting installation should be tested by Local Fire Authority or UK Fire International. All faults must be noted in the Fire Log and acted upon urgently.