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Should a independent living home be evacuated in case of a fire?

Guest JR

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Something I am slightly confused about. I work in an independent living home where there are 4 residents with learning disabilities. We recently had a team meeting which meant most of the staff were in site plus the residents were all in their rooms resting for the afternoon, all with self closure fire doors. the staff were in another room again with self closure fire doors. The alarm went of and all the doors closed, we knew all the Pws were safe behind their doors so we all stayed where we were as we were also protected by fire doors. Our manager said we should have evacuated but I felt wee did the right thing by staying where we were. Could you just advise me on this. thank you.

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Are you saying, the fire alarm operated and you did nothing, nobody investigated the reason why the FA operated and nobody considered evacuation?

The first thing is, there should be a Fire Evacuation Plan detailing what you should do in the eventuality of a fire in the building, indicated by the Fire Alarm operating. You should also be regularly trained on this procedure including other fire safety measures and a fire drill should be preformed occasionally.

I would be surprised if the procedure didn't require the staff to investigate the fire alarm operating and what action to take if a fire is discovered. If a fire is discovered then it would require the staff to evacuate the residents and themselves immediately. The reason for the self-closing fire doors is to prevent the fire spreading and provide time for you escape, not to allow you to remain the premises and be in some danger.

If the fire alarm operates, stop what you are doing and investigate in accordance with you Fire Evacuation Plan, then act accordingly depending on what you find.

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To add to what Tom said, if the fire brigade were called (and it was a genuine fire) who is to tell them that there are people still sitting in the building (not to mention the residents) it can't be you because you are still sitting in the building waiting for.......

Yes, it can be a "pain" if you have to evacuate a building, but, is it not better to get out and find its a false alarm or would you rather stay inside and find out that one day its a real fire.

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