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minimum staffing levels in public buildings for evacuation


Guest sarahC

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Guest sarahC

Hi I work in a big city centre public library, where for example the footfall last Friday was just under 1200 people. Most of the day there were only 3 people on the library floor and if the fire bell had sounded - we have a big Waitrose store underneath us - we would have been hard pressed to evacuate everyone in under 15 minutes. Is there such a thing as minimum staff per sq foot of public space, as in large department stores? Thank you for your time


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The BS9999 standard uses a risk profile approach that determines the minimum number of escape routes and their width based on the type of visitors, the fire risk and the size of the premises. This will in turn determine the time allowed for the evacuation.

I am not aware if there is a minimum number of fire wardens required. Absolute minimum would be, I guess, one per floor, although one could argue that you would require one per exit door. Tom, do you have any further ideas on this?

Harry

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Hi Harry I am not sure what Sarah is asking was the 1200 people in the library or waitrose store? Does the public in the library have to escape through waitrose or do they have there own MoE?

There is no set time for an evacuation what you have to achieve is the Required Safe Egress Time (RSET) has to be less than the ‚ÄčAvailable Safe Egress Time (ASET).

There is no minimum number of fire wardens required it is up to the responsible person to decide how many competent persons he/she requires to assist them in the safe evacuation of the premises.

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Hi Harry the number of visitors in a day is irrelevant its the maximum number at any one time plus the maximum number of waitrose personnel and you would calculate if the MoE is adequate. Most visitors (relevant persons) would find their own way out (good signage) and be helped by staff of both organisations. There are are no set number of helpers but I would expect a number of fire marshals, one for each area, to ensure the premises is vacated. All this should be part of the evacuation plan and both organisations should co-operate in accordance with the RR(FS)O.

All the necessary guidance can be found by studying DCLG guide for shops and offices and the RR(FS)O.

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