In large, more complex premises, it can be of great assistance to the Fire & Rescue Service 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 should be sited at the primary FRS access point or alongside the fire alarm panel
- Readily accessible to designated staff and attending fire crews
- Easily recognisable (usually a red coloured box)
- If externally sited, should be in a prominent position and protected against all weather conditions
- 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 needed by operational crews at the time of an incident.
The contents of the PIB should contain relevant, accurate information that could include, but is not limited to:
- Simple floor plans and generic layout
- Simple fire strategy plans to include floor layouts and an elevation drawing depicting the floor & flats numbering regime
- Access and facilities for firefighting (dry risers, FF lifts, FF shafts, hydrants)
- Evacuation strategy for the building
- List of vulnerable people, locations and evacuation plans
- Operational contingency plans, drawn up in consultation with the local fire service
- Relevant information relating to equipment and fixed installations associated with fire safety such as automatic smoke detection, sprinklers and smoke extraction (including basic operating instructions)
- 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
- Risks present, including construction materials, types of insulated panels and external wall systems (EWS)
- Utilities and services cut-off points
- Information relevant to preventing environmental damage
- Any unusual features (e.g. basements, tunnels etc.)
- Any other information relevant to the site, premises or occupancy. e.g. IT Server for business continuity
It is preferable that only Fire Service information is stored in the premises information boxes.
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.