How Often Should You Review Your Emergency Plan?
We are often asked, “How often should you review your emergency plan?” In this article, we answer this question and also explain what a review should entail.
Review your emergency plan at least annually to ensure it remains valid. Also, you should review your plan if anything changes in the interim period. These changes may include a redesign or refurbishment of a building. Maybe the introduction of a new activity or process, or a change to the use of a building.
What does a review entail?
Most importantly, you need to know that your emergency plan works. The review should be systematic and aim to:
- Ensure that any changes that may impact the plan are not overlooked.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the plan.
- Determine if more training is needed.
The review should be recorded and kept on file.
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How do I go about doing a review?
It is helpful to use a checklist when reviewing your plan. A checklist will allow you to keep concise records of what has changed during each review. Below is a list of items to be included:
- Is the list of staff who have specific responsibilities and their contact details correct?
- Are evacuation procedures up-to-date and still relevant to the premises?
- Training records – are they present and up-to-date?
- Fire drills records – have all corrective actions been closed out?
- Are nominated assembly points and escape routes still valid?
- Has there been any change in circumstances that requires the plan to be updated?
- Has the most recent fire risk assessment highlighted any areas of the plan that require revision?
What do I do once I have reviewed the plan?
Once your plan is up-to-date, you need to communicate the contents to your employees. Therefore, it is a good idea to carry out your emergency plan review just before your annual fire safety training. The training should include any changes to the plan.
Further details on your Emergency Plan can be found on the HSE website.