This page is designed to answer the following questions:
- 13.7b Describe what to do in the event of a fire (Care Certificate, Standard 13: Health and safety)
- 7.2 Describe emergency procedures to be followed in the event of a fire in the work setting (Level 2 Diploma in Care, Health, safety and wellbeing in care settings)
- 7.3 Explain emergency procedures to be followed in the event of a fire in the work setting. (Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care, Promote health, safety and wellbeing in care settings)
NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.
In the event of a fire, all employees should know what to do and the emergency procedures to follow.
It is your employer’s responsibility to assess the risks related to a possible fire and document procedures to follow that reduce the risk of fires starting and instruct employees what to do if a fire is discovered. It is also their responsibility to provide any fire safety training and equipment that is deemed necessary.
As an employee, it is your responsibility to attend fire safety training and familiarise yourself with procedures so that you know what to do in an emergency situation. As such, emergency fire procedures will vary between organisations, so as well as understanding general fire safety, you should also understand the specific requirements of your work setting.
Emergency procedures in the event of a fire will usually involve knowing where all the emergency exits are and leaving by the one that is nearest. Personal possessions should be left behind. You should also need to know where your fire assembly point is – this is a safe place away from the building where everyone congregates. You may also be tasked with collecting other items, such as resident, staff and visitor registers so that everybody can be accounted for once outside. An emergency bag may need to be collected, which could contain a contact list, high-vis vests and torches. It may your responsibility to isolate gas and electricity or turn off appliances before leaving.
If you discover a fire, you must raise the alarm immediately, so that everyone can follow their procedures and evacuate the building. After you have left the building, you should not return for any reason, as it could put yourself and others at risk.
You should only attempt to tackle a fire yourself if it is relatively safe to do so and you have received relevant training. You or another specified person should contact the emergency services for assistance as soon as possible.
You may have a procedure for evacuating vulnerable individuals, which could involve simply leading/prompting them or using specialist equipment such as an evacuation sledge if they have very limited mobility. Each individual’s specific needs should be taken into account in emergency evacuation planning and they should have their own fire risk assessment and Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP). If unable to evacuate an individual, you should ensure they are as safe as possible.
Following a fire-related incident, it is useful to reflect on what went wrong and implement control measures to reduce the likelihood of it happening again.