On Saturday morning last weekend about fifteen ministry and governance leaders from the St Paul’s Box Hill and Chinese Lutheran Church of Victoria congregations came together to learn more about fire safety. Alex from FES educated us about home and workplace protection and after some discussion and some eye opening videos we adjourned to the rear of the church grounds to practise using fire extinguishers.
If you can participate in emergency procedure training it’s well worth considering engaging in this type of session. You can also engage in more general emergency evacuation sessions. At the very least take time twice a year before or after service to ensure members and visitors can locate fire extinguishers, fire exits and the evacuation assembly point.
Other tips include:
• install smoke detectors in every room – fire moves quickly (and change batteries at least annually)
• reduce clutter – unnecessary items are fuel to fire
• consider chemicals used in the church and at home
• turn off electrical equipment when not in use
• ensure tagging and testing are done as required
• locate fire prevention equipment near exits
• consider the likely high risk areas and activities
• appoint wardens who are able to take the lead in an emergency
• develop an evacuation plan and practise and review it
• in the case of an actual fire ensure 000 is called, even if the fire appears to be out and close internal doors and windows and open fire exits
This is not a comprehensive list. We recommend all congregations develop a safety plan and communicate it to members and non-member site users, and review it regularly. You can also contact the Fire Prevention Association of Australia (FPA) to get information on providers of choice