Providing a rapid
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Why evacuation schemes are required
• A mechanism for building occupants to practice safe evacuations of the building they occupy.
• Programmed accountability for personnel in the building at the time of the fire alarm activation.
• Is reflective on occupancy numbers within the building and the working environment within the building.
• Careful planning ensures effective evacuations are undertaken under all scenarios and circumstances.
The Regulations that may govern the requirement for an evacuation scheme at your building
• Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (the Act)
• Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fire Safety, Evacuation Procedures and Evacuation Schemes) Regulations 2018 (the Regulations)
• Building Act 2004
• Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996
• Sale of Liquor Act 1989
What criteria that may constitute you requiring an evacuation scheme
If you are the owner of a relevant building you must have an evacuation scheme approved by Fire Emergency NZ if the building meets any of the following criteria.
• The gathering together, for any purpose, of 100 or more persons
• Providing employment facilities for 10 or more persons
• Providing accommodation for more than 5 persons (other than in 3 or fewer household units)
• Storing or processing hazardous substances
• Providing early childhood facilities
• Providing nursing, medical, or geriatric care
• Providing specialised care for people with disabilities
• Sale of liquor (whether it be provided via a on-licence or off-licence)
An evacuation scheme describes the measures that have been put in place to enable safe and timely evacuation in the event of a fire (or suspected fire), this includes:
• Evacuation procedure
• Signs and notices
• Firefighting equipment
• Places of safety
• Automatic sprinkler systems
• Provision for persons with a disability
• Means of warning
Incorporating determining a safe assembly area for all occupants evacuating the building and the recommendation of any remedial signage that may be pertinent to the safe evacuation of personnel.
Compilation of a document that all staff and Wardens can refer to for emergency procedures in respect to fire safety within the building they occupy. Additional information pertinent to other emergencies such as gas leaks, bomb threat and earthquakes can also be included within this document if so required.
Supply of wardens identification
Wardens need to be readily identifiable to all staff, visitors, contractors, the Building Warden and to arriving emergency services. Wardens can be identified by various means. However, the preferred identification K-1 Evacuation & Safety Consultants use are vests or armbands.
The training of Wardens in the evacuation scheme requirements and procedures is paramount to ensure all Wardens are fully conversant with what their duties are and what may be required of them during an evacuation.
Staff training may also be pertinent to convey to all those personnel within the building who are not directly involved as Wardens as to the importance of the evacuation scheme and how to undertake a safe evacuation of the building. With companies that have large staff numbers it is often beneficial to have the staff “buy-in” to the emergency procedures to ensure a total safe evacuation package.
Preparation and submission of required document to the respective authorities
Often the complexity of the completion of the legal documentation to the Fire Emergency NZ in submission of an evacuation scheme can be overwhelming and time consuming. K-1 Evacuation & Safety Consultants take away all the associated hassles incurred with such a submission of the evacuation scheme application to Fire Emergency NZ.
Trial evacuation and reporting on the trial evacuation results
Following the implementation of the evacuation scheme and the training of the personnel involved with the evacuation scheme, a trial evacuation is required to ensure all sequences and procedures put in place work are practical and eventuate to a successful evacuation. A report is compiled at the conclusion of the trial evacuation and is submitted to the parties involved in the evacuation scheme, including Fire Emergency NZ.
On-going scheme maintenance
Regular six monthly maintenance of the fire evacuation scheme is crucial to ensure compliance with the pertinent regulations.
Phil Norris, a Director of K-1 Evacuation & Safety Consultants Ltd has in excess of 25 years experience in the development, implementation and maintenance of fire evacuation schemes. We provide professional advice, support and training in all aspects of the compliance in fire safety and evacuation schemes within the commercial industry and workplace.
We are fortunate to be supplemented by a professional and competent team with the ability to provide chemical and hazardous substances advice, Fire Emergency NZ communication centre with operational preparedness knowledge and Fire Risk Management knowledge.