Fire safety

Make sure girls and volunteers know where to go in the event of a fire

Keep everyone safe.

Fire drills

Your meeting place should already have a fire drill procedure and rendezvous point.

Familiarise yourself and your girls with this plan, and carry out regular fire alarm drills with your unit.

Each time you practice a fire drill, record the details on the fire evacuation information page of your unit's emergency file.

Follow these steps to make sure your unit is safe in the event of a fire

Plan ahead

  • Ensure leaders know where the unit register is and that it should be taken outside with them. It should include emergency telephone numbers.
  • Make sure there are plans in place for members with additional needs.
  • Memorise the address of the building so you can give it to the fire brigade. This procedure should also be followed if there needs to be an emergency evacuation of the premises for any other reason.
  • Leaders should have access to a telephone and be aware of how to contact the fire brigade to notify them when fire-related activities will be taking place.

Fire alarms and extinguishers

  • Leaders should know the location of the fire alarm and how to activate it. There should be an alternative - for example a whistle - for use during drills if the alarm is inaccessible.
  • Leaders need to ensure that the alarm can be heard in all areas that members use.
  • Ensure that all leaders and members can recognise the sound of the alarm.
  • Leaders should know which fire extinguishers are available, their location, how to use them and which fire extinguisher is relevant. However, it should be stressed that evacuation is the priority.

Know your evacuation and assembly points

  • Ensure that everyone knows where they need to congregate - for example the car park - and how to get there safely.
  • Make sure they know where to stand and what to do once there, such as a roll call, not blocking access.
  • Identify alternative routes in case fire blocks the obvious exit.

Try not to panic in the event of any emergency

Remember to:

  • Keep calm - the most important thing is that you can think clearly.
  • Make sure, as far as you can, that the girls and young women you're taking care of, and the other volunteers with you, are safe.
  • Call the emergency services if appropriate.

Fire risk assessment

Each venue should have a fire risk assessment. If you hire a venue, it is advisable to ask to see a copy. If you own your venue, it is a legal requirement for there to be a fire risk assessment so make sure that the local management committee arrange for it to be regularly undertaken.