Office Buildings Need Emergency Evacuation Plans!

Does Your Office Have an Evacuation Plan?

It is very important for all office buildings to have an evacuation plan that outlines where everyone would go if there was a fire, earthquake, bomb threat, hurricane or other emergency situation. In a situation like this, which can easily devolve into panic and chaos, an orderly plan will help to ensure that everyone makes it out of the building safely. How can you create an evacuation plan for your office?

It’s not as hard as you might think. Creating an evacuation plan simply means figuring out the best way to evacuate your office building if there was a disaster, then making sure all of your employees are informed of the plan. The procedure for this will likely be covered in your occupational health and safety courses.

What Disasters to Prepare For?

The first step to your evacuation plan is to determine which disasters are threats in your particular office location. Figure out which type of events are the most likely and concentrate on preparing for those. For example, there is no point preparing a plan for a tsunami when your office building is located miles away from the sea.

Keep It Simple

One of the first things to remember when creating an emergency evacuation plan is to keep it as simple as possible. People need to know how to get out of the building to safety in a few very basic steps. When you are panicked in an emergency situation, it can be very difficult to remember a long sequence of instructions so the less you need to know, the better. Take a good look at the layout of your building so that you can determine the absolute fastest and simplest route from Point A to Point B.

Accommodate Everyone

When you are making your evacuation plan, consider whether or not your route takes into consideration everyone in the office. If you have an employee with a disability then you might need to think of a way that they can get down the stairs quickly and safely as they will not be able to use the elevator in a fire. Also, consider that some elderly employees might have limited mobility that will warrant special consideration in your plan. There are many strategies for accommodating for staff with different needs, so if you need some tips just ask in your occupational health and safety courses and the instructor will likely be able to point you towards the right resource.

Have a Backup Plan

It is all well and good to have an evacuation plan that leads you out the main entrance and into the parking lot, but what if that entrance is blocked by some type of hazard? What will you do then? Every evacuation plan should also have a back-up or an alternative route that can be taken when the first route becomes impossible.

Create Evacuation Maps

As part of your evacuation plan you can also create maps that show the correct route for evacuation. You can place these maps on important doors so that even if someone doesn’t remember the evacuation drills they can follow the map. The maps should be simple and straightforward as well, as people will not be able to spend a lot of time interpreting them. Mark out the basic layout of the building and then show the evacuation route in red so that it is easy to see. If you need help making your evacuation maps, you can ask in your occupational health and safety courses. Follow these tips in order to create an effective evacuation plan for your office, so that you can escape in the event of an emergency.

Fire Safety and Evacuation

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