Fire evacuation routine

A fire routine is based on a critical sequence of events:

Fire alarm operation

Anyone discovering an outbreak of fire must, without hesitation, sound the fire alarm by actuating the nearest fire alarm call point.

Calling the Fire Brigade

All outbreaks of fire or any suspected fire, however small, should be reported immediately to the Fire Brigade by the quickest means available, by calling 999. This task could well be designated as the responsibility of the school secretary as a telephone will be readily available at that location.


  • On hearing the fire alarm, pupils must be instructed to leave the building in single file and in a calm, orderly manner
  • The person in charge of each class must indicate the exit route to be used and everyone must be directed to a Predetermined Fire Assembly Point
  • Specific arrangements must be made for pupils with physical or mental disabilities to ensure that they are assisted during evacuation
  • No running is to be permitted to avoid panic
  • On staircases everyone must descend in single file. Overtaking of classes or individuals must not be permitted
  • Lifts must not be used
  • Anyone who is not in class when the fire alarm sounds must go immediately to the fire assembly point
  • No one must be allowed to re-enter the building until told to do so by the Fire Service in attendance, or, in the case of a fire evacuation drill the senior person in charge

Fire Assembly Point

  • An area outside the school premises must be designated as a fire assembly point
  • It must be clearly marked and easily identified by any person who must be expected to be in the school premises
  • The fire assembly point must be far enough away from the school premises to afford protection from the heat and smoke in a fire situation at least 10 metres away from any building
  • The fire assembly point must be in a position that does not put pupils and staff at risk by emergency vehicles responding to the incident

Roll call

  • One person should be nominated as the fire marshal who will have overall control and responsibility during the evacuation. The fire marshal will ensure that a roll call is conducted in the event of evacuation of the premises
  • Immediately after classes have assembled at the fire assembly point, a roll call or count must be made to ascertain that no one remains unaccounted for
  • Any visitors or contractors in the premises at that time must be included
  • The count at the assembly point must be checked with the attendance registers and visitors book to verify that everyone is out of the building
  • Attendance registers and visitors book should be held at a central point and must be brought to the assembly point when the alarm sounds
  • Each teacher must report to the nominated person in charge of the evacuation procedure to verify that everyone in their charge is accounted for or to inform him/her of the number of persons missing

Meeting the Fire Brigade

  • The person in charge of the roll call must identify him/herself to the Fire Brigade on their arrival. In doing so vital information can be relayed to the Fire Officer which will dictate the necessary actions to be carried out by the Fire Brigade

What information does the Fire Brigade need?

  • Is everyone accounted for?
  • Is anyone missing: if so, how many?
  • Where are they usually located? Where were they last seen?
  • Where is the fire? What is on fire? (It may not be apparent)
  • Are there any hazardous substances involved in the fire or stored in the building? (i.e. Chemicals, Solvents, Liquefied Petroleum Gas or Acetylene Cylinders etc)