Emergency Evacuation Routes And Procedures

Thursday, August 5th, 2021
evacuation route exit sign

Business owners should realize the importance of having an evacuation plan in case there are any potential risks. It is necessary for everyone who works in the building to have a working understanding of how and when they need to evacuate the building. Here are 7 steps that every business should take to be prepared for any emergency. 

Step one- Imagine every scenario 

When you know how and when a situation might occur, you will be better prepared. You will know the exact routes to take and who to put in charge of every situation. You should know where any potential fires could break out in the building. I.e. what areas or equipment have a fire hazard? You should also know how a fire could start and what employees or areas would be affected. This will help you to be prepared for any situation that may occur. 

Step two- Have a role for everyone

When planning your evacuation routes, it is important to assign a role to each person. Here are some specific roles you can assign:

  • Have someone to make sure everyone gets out of the building. If you have a large building, you can have multiple people for this role. This person will check in bathrooms or conference rooms to make sure no one is still inside as they leave the building.
  • Having someone contact emergency services. 
  • Have someone alert the employees when a fire or emergency breaks out. This person will ensure that everyone is aware there is an emergency. 
  • Have set people to know where the fire extinguishers are located and how to use them properly. 

You want to make sure that you assign roles to people who are responsible, reliable, and present during emergencies. This will help to keep everyone as safe as possible. 

Step three- Determine your evacuation routes

Most buildings will have an emergency exit so that the employees can exit the building safely. If the emergency exit is in a location where the fire is, you should have a plan for another escape route. 

Step four- Have a communication plan in place 

Having a communication plan is important. This could include walkie-talkies or an intercom system so that you can communicate with people inside or outside of the building. 

Step five- Inspect tools

Making sure that your tools are up to date and ready for an emergency is extremely important. This helps to ensure that if a fire does break out, you are prepared. 

Step six- Rehearse procedure

Practice your emergency procedures often. Especially when you get new employees or your plan changes- this helps so that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency. 

Step seven- Follow up with the employees

After you rehearse procedures, you must follow up with your employees. You need to get their feedback to understand if they will feel safe if an emergency occurs. This will also help you to make changes to the evacuation plan. Some people feel safe doing different things, and this will help to understand how to do that. 

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