Annual fire evacuation

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simonawright
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Annual fire evacuation

Postby simonawright » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:35 am

Hi all.
I realise this is not a clerk issue but was wondering if I could get a feel for what happens in other units.
Does anyone hold an annual fire evacuation drill and if you do when do you hold it? During Sacrament meeting for example.

Thank you

davesudweeks
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Re: Annual fire evacuation

Postby davesudweeks » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:25 am

I have never seen a fire drill in the church and I have lived in 8 different units across the USA (and one in the Middle East). I can't imagine doing one during Sacrament meeting as it is not in keeping with the purpose of the meeting. I have over 16 years of safety experience in the National Guard and would not recommend doing it at church. I do recommend that families practice getting out of the home as home fires are much more common (and often occur while families are sleeping).

If one felt it would be useful, 2nd hour would be a better exercise as there are classes scattered all around the building that will have to be managed logistically. Living in "tornado alley" we do discuss emergency preparedness annually and have activated the "emergency contact list" a couple of times to verify the process of checking on neighbors and ward members in the event of a local disaster.

simonawright
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Location: UK, Leicester

Re: Annual fire evacuation

Postby simonawright » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:14 am

Thank you for the reply. The reason for the question is that our local facilities group have said the units should hold an annual drill. We have 2 units that share the building, with back to back meetings, and so holding it during normal church meetings would disrupt the Sacrament meeting for one of them whenever it was done.

As we are the stake centre I did suggest holding it during our stake conference, I don’t think our facilities rep fancied suggesting that thought to our stake president.

russellhltn
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Re: Annual fire evacuation

Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:07 pm

simonawright wrote:I don’t think our facilities rep fancied suggesting that thought to our stake president.

Which raises the question, what has the stake president had to say about it? Is this request by FM based on a legal requirement?
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lajackson
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Re: Annual fire evacuation

Postby lajackson » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:44 pm

simonawright wrote:The reason for the question is that our local facilities group have said the units should hold an annual drill.

I would suggest that you counsel with your stake president on the best way to do this if it is a new legal requirement. In your situation, I would recommend it happen between sacrament meetings, which would, of course, affect the second hour for one of the units.

You might also do it during the second hour of the last unit to meet. This would not affect everyone, but if you rotate schedules, they would experience a drill every other year.

And there is always activity night. I am sure that the youth would love to do one then.

davesudweeks
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Re: Annual fire evacuation

Postby davesudweeks » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:51 pm

Having an annual fire drill would not normally be a requirement for a public venue in the USA. Public venues typically don't have the same people located at the same place each week like they would for a business so the value of such an exercise is quite low. In the USA, the local Fire Marshall has jurisdiction over the public building via the Life Safety Code. That essentially addresses how the building is set up (fire alarms, fire extinguishers, emergency exit doors and routes, maximum occupancy limits, etc.). But this is all speculation with respect to your situation so take everything posted here with a grain or two of salt...

I agree with russellhltn that it would be wise to query what is driving the request. If there is a legal requirement, that is one thing. If it is simply someone's suggestion that it "would be nice," that is something entirely different. It is not difficult to assess emergency exit access based on occupancy and hallways/doorways along the exit paths. That would be as useful as a fire drill (in my opinion).

russellhltn
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Re: Annual fire evacuation

Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:14 pm

Even if it was claimed to be a legal requirement, I'd think a review by someone versed in law would be appropriate. It's possible that FM's interpretation is incorrect.
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simonawright
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Location: UK, Leicester

Re: Annual fire evacuation

Postby simonawright » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:38 pm

I don’t believe it is a legal requirement, I will be going over the material that has been sent to us to see what it says. This is the first year it has been mentioned.

I personally see little value in a drill as the occupancy varies so much during the week that it will basically rely on leaders in the building making sure that people take appropriate action if the alarm goes off.

Our stake president generally takes the view that if church offices, or those with responsibility such as facilities, have requested an action then we do it.

simonawright
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:37 pm
Location: UK, Leicester

Re: Annual fire evacuation

Postby simonawright » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:29 pm

I have checked the fire laws and their application to churches in the UK and there is indeed a requirement to hold annual practice drills. They do not have to be surpise drills we can plan for it and let the members know it is happening.

Will probably hold the drill in the summer straight after church and have a munch and mingle setup outside.


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