What Does FED Stand for in Fire Safety?

FED in fire safety

If you’re an employer, you hold final accountability for fire safety in your workplace. Larger organisations often hire consultants to handle specific fire safety duties. Small business owners can’t afford the same approach and need to become fire safety experts themselves, experts who can tell the FSO from their FRA. But what does FED stand for in fire safety?

Our guide explains what FED stands for and how it relates to your fire safety duties. You can be confident your workplace complies with fire safety regulations and that you haven’t missed anything on your FRA (fire risk assessment, of course).

FED – Fire, Exit, Devices

Searching “What does FED stand for in fire safety?” will net you a few different results as there’s no single answer. The most general interpretation is Fire, Exit and Devices, which covers three critical areas of fire safety.

We’ve started with this version of the FED acronym as it’s a handy reminder of your essential duties in complying with fire safety regulations.


In this version of FED, ‘Fire’ refers to overall prevention and control measures. Fire safety depends on the size and layout of your workplace, as well as staff numbers and the nature of the work that happens on-site.

You need to account for all these factors in your fire risk assessment (FRA). Your FRA is a careful examination of fire hazards in your workplace and an assessment of what must be done to make them safe. It follows a five-step process:

  1. Identify fire hazards
  2. Assess who is at risk
  3. Eliminate fire risks or reduce them to a safe level
  4. Record the assessment findings, prepare an emergency plan and train staff
  5. Review and update the FRA regularly

Carrying out a fire risk assessment is your first and most important duty as a responsible person (the individual accountable for fire safety in your premises) under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO).

Your assessment results will inform every subsequent decision on controlling fire risk and complying with the FSO. As an employer, you don’t need to do the assessment yourself, but you are responsible for making sure it happens, is compliant and reviewed regularly.

You must also ensure that anyone conducting the assessment on your behalf is competent. Or if you choose to do it yourself, you need to be able to prove your competence. (Competence is sufficient knowledge, experience and training to do the job safely and in line with the regulations).

Fire Safety Courses

Our fire safety courses provide staff with the knowledge to prevent, respond to and manage fire emergencies. Topics covered include fire awareness, risk assessments, fire door training and fire extinguisher use. The courses also offer advanced training for duty holders, including fire safety inspection and fire warden training.


Prevention is your overall goal, but fire risks are never zero. So, it’s a legal requirement to make emergency plans, most notably for the evacuation of all staff and anyone else on-site.

To ensure a safe exit during a fire, you must plan:

  • Escape routes that minimise evacuation time
  • Exits that allow for all people on-site (including visitors) to escape
  • Emergency doors
  • Emergency lighting where necessary
  • A safe meeting point outside the premises

All of the above information must also be shared with staff. Staff also need to practise the evacuation plan regularly (once a year minimum). These drills should be recorded as part of your evacuation plans.

safe fire exit


Devices cover the control measures and firefighting equipment you need to manage fire risks.

You can divide these measures into active and passive protection.

Active protection measures are typically what people imagine when they think of fire safety devices, for example fire alarms, sprinkler systems and extinguishers. All of these examples actively alert people or help put a fire out, with extinguishers needing someone to operate them.

Passive protection is less noticeable to the layperson. These measures are built into a building and help limit the spread of flames by containing fire in an area. Fire doors are a good example you’re probably familiar with. Other passive protections include fire stopping, which fills gaps between spaces to prevent smoke or flames leaking from one room to another.

Your FRA will determine what combination of passive and active fire safety measures you’ll need to implement. And they’ll all need regular inspection and maintenance to ensure they work in an emergency.

Other Answers to What Does FED Stand for in Fire Safety?

There are more specific answers to the question, “What does FED stand for in fire safety?” We’ve gone through these alternatives below.

Flat Entrance Door

FED may also refer to flat entrance doors, which must function as fire doors in shared residential buildings.

Changes in fire safety regulations have emphasised the importance of inspecting and maintaining fire doors. These new rules, implemented in January 2023 through the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, were a direct response to the Grenfell tragedy.

Now, all property owners or those in control of a shared residential building must conduct quarterly checks of their fire doors.

Fire Evacuation Drill

FED may also stand for fire evacuation drills. Fire drills are a legal requirement and must happen at least once a year in your workplace. However, it’s much safer to conduct them more often.

Rehearsing your evacuation plans will help familiarise people with them, preventing panic in an actual emergency. They also give you an opportunity to identify and fix shortcomings before there’s a real risk of anyone getting hurt.

And don’t forget to share evacuation plans with new staff. Fire safety must be a part of your standard induction process.

Fire Extinguisher Device

You may see FED used as shorthand for fire extinguisher devices. Adding ‘device’ to the phrase makes it clear that you’re referring to handheld fire extinguishers and not other firefighting equipment, such as hoses.

Fire extinguishers must be present in your workplace. Although anyone can use them in a life-threatening situation, select staff should be instructed on how to use them. Trained operators can use extinguishers much more effectively and without putting themselves at greater risk.

Speaking of training, FED might also refer to fire extinguisher demos. In this specific context, an instructor can use the acronym to explain the steps involved in using an extinguisher. These are:

Familiarise – Check the extinguisher is suitable for the fire

Execute – Follow PASS to operate the extinguisher (another acronym we’ll cover later)

Discharge – Practise activating the extinguisher in a controlled environment

fire extinguisher device

Other Fire Safety Acronyms

PASS is a memory device for recalling the steps of using a fire extinguisher. It stands for:

  • Pull (out the safety pin)
  • Aim (at the base of the fire)
  • Squeeze (the trigger slowly)
  • Sweep (the extinguisher from side to side over the base of the fire)

You can read more about the acronym here.

RACE helps fire wardens react appropriately when dealing with an actual emergency. When in danger, even trained people can panic unless they’ve practised their response. Using RACE can help your fire wardens follow the right course of action. It stands for:

  • Remove/Rescue – prioritise getting people to safety
  • Alarm/Alert – once the evacuation is underway, raise the alarm
  • Confine/Contain – if it’s safe, close doors and windows to limit the spread of fire and smoke
  • Extinguish – only after all other steps are complete should you attempt to extinguish the fire, and only if it’s safe to do so

Fire Safety Training

The importance of fire safety can’t be overstated. Whatever industry you work in and whatever the size of your business, you must comply with regulations and make your workplace fire-safe.

Our Fire Awareness Training course fulfils basic requirements for fire safety training. Suitable for all sectors and organisations, it explains the fundamentals of fire safety every employee must know. It covers fire risk and prevention to stop fires before they start, as well as evacuation procedures and extinguishing small fires should the worst happen – everything covered by FED.

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Jonathan Goby
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