Fire Drill in Garment Factory

 Garment factories are one of the most fire vulnerable factories owing to the highly flammable nature of the raw materials. The fabric rolls, trims, garments in the process, finished goods, chindi waste and least to mention- the documents; all of these are food for the fire. The history of accidents in garment industries has recorded several instances of fire outbreak in RMG facilities. Some of these fire have turned as ugly and merciless as to have engulfed hundreds of people in them. One such unforgettable nightmare is the fire in Karachi garment factory in 2012 killing 289 people.

Karachi factory Fire
Karachi Fire 2012 ; Source:

Karachi Fire 2012; Source:

Referring back to all the fire disasters the garment industries have witnessed, the government and the labour welfare organisations have come up with mandatory fire safety requirements for RMG factories. One of the most important steps to ensure fire safety is timely (in an interval of 3 months) fire drill or evacuation drill.

Fire drill lets the employees know:
1) the fire risks involved in working in a garment factory
2) the places where the fire alarm systems are installed
3) the equipment available in the facility to combat the fire
4) how to use that equipment in case of fire
5) how to evacuate in an organised manner without being panicked
6) how to help fellow men in distress
7) not to forget the use of permissible amount of common sense

Below is phase wise description of how a fire drill is organised in a garment factory.

Phase 1: Training
The trainer is a fire safety personnel from an ISO certified fire safety management and training institute. The workers are asked to assemble for the training. The trainer gives a brief and continues to instruct in detail with the help of the charts and other visual aids. He further explains about the fire alarm systems and the equipment installed in various parts of the facility.

Fire drill training
Phase 1: Fire Drill Training

Phase 2: Demonstration
Next phase is to bring the props alive and show the employees how the fire safety system actually works. The main weapon to be used against the blazing enemy is fire extinguishers. Generally, ABC type fire extinguishers are used in the garment industry.

Fire extinguisher demonstration
Fire extinguisher demonstration

Phase 3: Mock drill

The third phase requires the employees to get into action. A fire like situation is simulated. Workers evacuate the premise as per instructed and they gather in the assembly point which is in an open area a few meter away from the building. Each of the employees then practices putting off the fire using the extinguisher.
Evacuation drill
Evacuation drill 

Assembly Point
Assembly Point

Fire extinguisher demo
Fire extinguisher demo

Phase 4: Record Maintenance
 The last but not the least phase is the documentation of the whole evacuation drill. Pictures are clicked and the employees are required to sign their names on the record sheet. Click here to download the example attendance record sheet


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