In large, more complex premises, it can be of great assistance to the Fire & Rescue Service (FRS) to keep plans on the premises detailing information on the occupants, hazards and layout of the building and its services.
This information is usually held in a Premises Information Box (PIB), which is a recognised focal point where an organisation can highlight information specific to a given building.
Although there is no legal requirement to provide this information in any particular way, having a PIB can be helpful at the time of an incident when dealing with emergency situations.
Where should a PIB be located?
- It needs to be sited at a location where the FRS can readily locate it and gain access to it
- It should be sited at the entrance at which the FRS are most likely to arrive when attending a call to the premises
- It needs to be readily accessible to designated staff and attending fire crews
- It should be easily recognisable (usually a red coloured box)
- Ideally, the PIB should be located internally within the building. However, if fitted externally, it should be located, preferably, in a sheltered, well-lit area
- The location of PIB should be communicated to the local FRS for inclusion in their mobilising system
What should be included in a PIB?
Premises Information Boxes should provide simple and useable information that is required for the purpose of operational firefighting and rescue.
The contents of the PIB should contain relevant, accurate information that could include, but is not limited to:
- An Orientation plan, showing the location of the building in relation to surrounding buildings and other reference points (e.g. roads) and also water supplies
- A building layout plan showing the internal layout, including up to date floor plans
- A simple layout plan (if not provided in the Orientation plan) showing water supplies for firefighting including hydrants, emergency water supplies, wet riser supplies etc.
- Simple layout plans showing facilities of particular relevance to operational firefighting and rescue including relevant information regarding any lift(s) intended for use by the FRS
- A description of the current evacuation strategy, e.g., stay put, simultaneous evacuation
- Information on residents with mobility, cognitive or sensory impairment(s)
- Contact names/numbers of the responsible person(s) for the site
- Location and information relating to high risk processes, sources of heat or dangerous substances
- Significant fire safety issues – any compartmentation, external wall system or other fire safety issues which may affect fire behaviour in the premises
- Utilities and services cut-off points
- Information relevant to preventing environmental damage
- An ‘Off The Run’ notice containing details of any fire-fighting fixed installations not available for use and/or unresolved fire safety issues
- A log book for the purpose of recording events that occur in respect of the PIB system including emergency use, system updates etc
The PIB is a facility for firefighters and the content should be restricted to information relevant for the FRS during an incident. Unnecessary and unclear information could delay the FRS response.
Building plans should be A3 size and be encapsulated or placed inside plastic wallets so that they can stand up to the rigors of use. There should be two sets of all plans.
Generally, the person responsible fire safety matters within the organisation or premises will be responsible for ensuring that premises information boxes are provided. Information contained in the premises information box should be up-to-date and regularly reviewed.
Fire Safety Officers will have the option to check the contents of the boxes when visiting the premises.
Further guidance is available using the below link: