How to Create a Safe Evacuation Plan for Your Business or Building
Revisit Your Evacuation Plan Yearly
In the event of a fire or other emergency, a meticulous plan is essential to a smooth and safe evacuation, especially in large buildings with many occupants. For maximum safety, your evacuation plan should be reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis.
Upon the event of an evacuation, occupants of the building will look for guidance. By assigning various responsibilities to specific individuals in each area, and giving them the proper training to be confident of the evacuation plan and safety precautions necessary, occupants will be safely guided through the evacuation.
Responsibilities should include:
- Fire event supervisor
- Fire communication coordinator
- Route guides
- Floor inspectors
Inspect and Refamiliarize Team with Fire Equipment/Procedure
Fire protection equipment is the first line of defense against a fire, and as it isn’t used frequently, it should be regularly inspected to ensure functionality. Professionals who are familiar with fire codes and regulations can be hired for this task, most fire protection companies offer a preventative maintenance program.
The individuals that have assigned fire responsibilities, as well as others should be reminded periodically of the procedures to employ all fire protection equipment. Create a schedule to both inspect equipment and go over procedures.
Fire Evacuation Plan Review/Rehearsal
Any size building with any number of occupants should rehearse and review an exit plan in case of an emergency. Especially in the case of big buildings with multiple exits that require a complicated evacuation, it is important to walk through the steps required so that all occupants are familiar and a safe exit is smoothly executed in the event of an emergency.
The evacuation plan should also be clearly outlined and posted throughout the building so it can be easily referenced upon the event of an emergency. Graphics with directional arrows highlighting the route and safety precautions necessary provide an additional measure of safety for all occupants. When discussing or rehearsing the evacuation, ensure that everyone is aware of the postings, and understands them.