Fire safety for animal facilities: Part III

In part three of our fire safety for animal facilities guide, we’ll be taking a look at escape routes and the the various ways you can accommodate the safe evacuation of premises.

Fire escape routes for animal facilities

Suitability of exits – When it comes to escape routes, you must ensure that they are suitable. This this means factoring in a number of considerations, including:

  • whether animals and people can exit at the same time
  • whether the exits are usable at all times
  • whether the exit is suitable for the number of people and animals
  • whether there are locks or entry restrictions on the route
  • whether the route is free of hazards and obstacles

Your fire exits and escape routes are important for the calm and swift evacuation of your premises, so it is also vital for you to establish routes which don’t go through someone else’s buildings – where exits may be locked off – and that fire doors open outwards in the direction of escape.

Ladders and hatches are not suitable for exits unless in exceptional circumstances for well-trained staff.

Mobility issues – People who require assistance to escape due to mobility issues should always be considered in your plans for fire escapes, with refuge points in fire-resisting structures, routes suitable for disabled people and the prioritised evacuation of those with mobility issues in mind before the rescue and release of animals.

Doorways – The doorways in your property will have a number of people it can accommodate, with increased width and height allowing for more people to exit safely. The following are the approximate numbers for width of the narrowest portion of an exit route:

  • 750mm can accommodate up to 50 people
  • 850mm can accommodate up to 80 people
  • 1,050mm can accommodate up to 220 people

rabbit in gardenIn terms of width and height for the actual doors used to evacuate, these should be at least 2.4m high by no less than 1.2m wide. You should also ensure that you have a fire exit within the allotted travel distance; this is varied depending on the size, shape and layout of your building.

Stairs, basements, corridors and roof exits all also come with specific measurements and procedures to follow for a safe evacuation. These predominantly revolve around providing a safe, secure and swift exit from the building, factoring in events where a fire might cut off the normal exit routes.

If you operate animal facilities but are unsure about any aspect of the fire safety of your site, at Elite Fire we can provide a free quote for fire risk assessments, helping you keep your building, people and animals safe. Contact our professional team today and we’ll be happy to assist you, bringing our specialist expertise to bear for you.

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