Building Evacuation Plan: Solidifying Your Occupant Exit Strategy

If you own a building which has residential or commercial occupants, meeting at least the minimum safety requirements is essential. Depending on the regulations for your area, you may or may not be required to have an evacuation plan in place. They can be an important safety asset which assists your employees, tenants, or visitors in knowing what to do in an emergency. Having this knowledge along with the proper visual resources prevents a panic situation where people get hurt or left behind. A building evacuation plan can be very simple or highly complex. This will greatly depend on the number of exits, floors, and purpose of your building. For example, a single level structure may have two exit points located on each side of the building. The plan can have a procedure for reporting the emergency along with a couple of evacuation routes outlined on a structural blueprint. Signs can be installed to help in locating these exits without too much work or costs. As the levels increase or the routes become more complicated, a more detailed plan will be needed.

Fire Safety Signs: Helping Individuals Locate Possible Egress Points

An emergency evacuation can occur for a number of reasons. Common causes include tornados, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and floods. Specific locations may also experience these evacuations due to chemical spills or various types of attacks. You will need to evaluate the area to determine the most likely reasons for an evacuation. Consider phase based planning to make the process simpler. Phases may include detection, notification, exit procedures, and safety locations. The first should entail handling detection of the emergency. There may be multiple instructions based on the cause or a single instruction set designed to be used for any type of critical circumstance. Ensure a reliable alarm system is in place for notifying everyone of the emergency. Determine the types of emergencies, how everyone could react, and the desired reaction. Then put procedures in place to obtain the right response. Set up designated safety areas where everyone can meet until emergency responders arrive.

Once you have a solid evacuation in place, it needs to be reinforced with fire safety signs and other identifying items. There are multiple choices available when considering signing your building. All codes will have to be met to ensure legal safety compliance. Once these are met, additional safety measures are your decision. Extra preventative tools increase occupant and building safety. Signs may be lighted with bulbs or special chemicals. Chemical tube lighting poses the risk for radioactive emergencies while regular incandescent bulbs require additional maintenance. Both can become ineffective when power is not available. Photoluminescent fire safety signs are a newer option offered by GloBrite to conserve energy costs as well as provide dependable visibility. These signs can be placed without wiring or backup power options. You can combine them with photoluminescent demarcation lines to ensure absolute visibility in any combination of circumstances. This will protect people exiting the building if backup lighting does not turn on. You can place these items above exit doors and along the egress paths to reinforce the building evacuation plan.

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