A fire assembly point is a location where staff and visitors can gather in the event of a fire to ensure everyone is in a designated safe area. Usually placed a safe distance from the structure, the fire assembly points are selected taking accessibility and visibility into consideration.
When there’s a fire drill or real emergency, people leave the building and head to the fire assembly point. To make sure that everyone is securely outdoors, a headcount can be conducted once everyone has assembled at the gathering location. In order for emergency personnel to ascertain whether someone is still within the structure and could need aid, this information is essential.
Fire assembly points are designed to maintain safety and order during evacuations and are a crucial part of emergency evacuation strategies. People should know where the authorized assembly point is at their place of employment, school, or any other site they frequently visit.
Legal Requirement For A Fire Assembly Point
The legal requirements for a fire assembly point can vary depending on the jurisdiction and local regulations. However, in many places, fire assembly points are mandated as part of broader fire safety regulations.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) requires that “Emergency routes and exits must lead as directly as possible to a place of safety” and that procedures for serious and imminent danger must enable the persons concerned to “Immediately proceed to a place of safety in the event of their being exposed to serious, imminent and unavoidable danger”.
Some of the general requirements and considerations could include:
- Regulatory Compliance: Buildings and facilities are often required to comply with local fire codes and regulations. These codes may specify the need for fire assembly points and outline their characteristics, such as location and signage.
- Evacuation Plans: Many jurisdictions require the development and implementation of emergency evacuation plans for buildings. These plans typically include the identification of fire assembly points and the procedures for safely evacuating occupants to these points.
- Accessibility and Visibility: Fire assembly points must be easily accessible and clearly visible. They should be located at a safe distance from the building, and the pathway to the assembly point should be free of obstacles.
- Signage: Clear and conspicuous signage indicating the location of fire assembly points is often a requirement. This helps ensure that occupants can easily find their way to the designated gathering area.
Correct Placement For Fire Assembly Point
To know an appropriate location where an assembly point can be located, the general rule of thumb applies and is stated thus:
It must be positioned a distance equal to twice the height of the building. So, if a two storey building is 8 metres high, the assembly point must be 16 metres away from the building.
According to Cityfire.co.uk here is a guide on how to place your fire assembly point;
- Assembly points should be situated in a large open space, one that is big enough to safely accommodate everyone from your building.
- A back up assembly point should be established for use in the event that your primary location cannot be used for whatever reason.
- The assembly point must be easily reachable from your building.
- The location must be at least 50ft away from your building (this is for extra safety in case the fire was to cause your building to collapse)
- Ensure that your meeting point does not obstruct emergency services – places like car parks are off limits as they made need these to provide assistance.
- Open areas that are within other structures, such as gardens, courtyards etc are off limits.
If any of these requirements is not met, the assembly point may become useless as it may not serve the purpose.
Fire Assembly Point Sign
Businesses need to clearly identify the location of their fire assembly points in order to comply with current fire legislation. These signs help to ensure that there is no unnecessary confusion and that everyone within the premises including employees, visitors and the general public know where they need to assemble in the event of an evacuation. They also help fire wardens easily check if everyone within the premises has been accounted for.