Emergency Routes & Exits
For premises covered by the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997, the workplace must, where necessary to safeguard employees in the case of fire, comply with the following requirements. Compliance is the responsibility of the employer, but for certain requirements the employer may need only check that the requirement has been or is being met in full by the landlord, builder or other duty holder.
Requirements for Provision
At the workplace:
- emergency routes and exits must lead as directly as possible to a place of safety;
- in the event of danger, it must be possible for employees to evacuate the workplace quickly and as safely as possible;
- the number, distribution and dimensions of emergency routes and exits must be adequate taking account of the use, equipment and dimensions of the workplace and the maximum number of people who may be present at any one time;
- doors that are to be used as emergency exits must open in the direction of escape;
- doors that are to be used as emergency exits must not be locked or fastened in a way that might slow down anyone making an escape in the event of an emergency;
- emergency routes and exits must be indicated by signs;
- emergency routes and exits requiring illumination must be provided with emergency lighting that gives adequate illumination in the case of failure of normal lighting.
Requiremenrts for Unrestricted Access
The employer must, where necessary to safeguard his employees in case of fire, ensure that:
- emergency exits are kept clear at all times;
- emergency routes to those exits are kept clear at all times.
As regards keeping emergency routes and exits clear, in order to fulfil his duty the employer may need to include in his measures effective arrangements with other duty holders such as a landlord, other employers in the same building or the like.