Fire safety is everybody’s concern. Poor fire safety practices and improper planning for fire emergency can consequently lead to critical situations. This is more threatening particularly for buildings which accommodate laboratories, chemical stores or server rooms. Observance and application of fire prevention principles can help to reduce or eliminate potential fire hazards. Moreover, much emphasis must be put on elaboration of a well designed emergency plan that defines the appropriate procedures to be followed in case of a fire. Implementation and practice of this plan through fire emergency drills is vital. The main focus of this study being importance of fire drills and setting up of an emergency plan, I proceed to present an overview of the importance of performing fire drills and the roles and responsibilities of participants. In a general view, performing fire drills allow all persons to practice their respective roles and also gain experience in these assigned roles; better knowledge and confidence is acquired so as to evacuate the institution in a safely manner. Practice of fire emergency drills can also help in improving the academic institution’s “system” for managing fire emergencies. Further in this study, we shall have a more detailed view about performing fire drills.
1.2 Aims and objectives of this study are:
* To highlight the importance of performing fire drills.
* To have a better knowledge of fire hazards and the classes of fire associated to the respective fire hazard. * To understand the need for fire safety and principles of fire prevention. * To identify different means of fire detection and fire fighting in a building. * To have a brief overview of roles and responsibilities of different persons during a fire drill exercise.
* To learn more about the means of escape.
* To identify and understand the different steps in preparing and writing procedures of a fire emergency plan. * To observe and locate through a walk through audit, any shortcomings in terms of fire fighting and fire prevention. * To make recommendations for the improvement of the current available means of fire fighting and fire prevention.
CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW
In the literature review below, we shall discuss about the principles of fire prevention, the types of fires hazards, the different classes of fire, the means for fire detection and fire warning, the existing ways for fighting fires and finally, the means of fire escape.
2.2 Fire hazards
A fire hazard situation is created when there are risks of harm and damage to people and property respectively, due to fire. There are many ways through which fire hazards can cause fires to start. However, the general principle for a fire to start is, when there is a combination of the following three sources: ignition source, fuel and oxygen. Sources of ignition include any source of heat that can get hot enough to ignite materials. Some examples are: * Hot surfaces
* Naked flames and hot gases
* Mechanically created sparks in grinding or frictional processes for example. * Poor electrical installations; damaged cables
* Electromagnetic fields from high frequency installations. * Ionizing radiation
* Chemical reactions whereby heat is developed.
* Chemical substances
* Lighting equipment (Henkel, 2001)
Anything that burns easily can be seen as a source of fuel. In an educational institution, some sources of fuel may include the following: * Flammable gases and liquefied petroleum gas
* Flammables liquids, solvents and chemicals
* Paper and books
* Teaching materials
* Waste products and litter
* Cleaning agents
* Carpet tiles. (HM Government, 2006)
The major source of oxygen is air. Air is present in an enclosed building and can be introduced or extracted to and from the building through the use of extraction...