Fire Evacuation Plan: Preparing Your Building for Disaster

While no one can say when an emergency will occur, everyone can be prepared for these events. Realizing a crisis can happen anywhere at anytime is the first step a building owner has to take when considering how they will ready employees or residents for this situation. A fire, natural disaster, or work environment caused emergency is something every owner must consider. Many laws put specific requirements on buildings regarding signing, alarm systems, and exits. Any number of situations could call for an evacuation. Without a solid plan and visual aids, there is a higher risk for people not being able to efficiently find their way out. When you are putting your fire evacuation plan together, it is important to consider possible causes, all exit points, and how people will locate a safety point. Fires are one of the least expected disasters because they can stem from many varying causes including wiring, weather, chemical reactions, and explosions. With the right tools in place, you can decrease safety risks in these situations.

Reinforcing Exit Plans with Fire Safety Signs

How do you prepare a proper plan for each facility you own? Signing, identification lines, and safety systems are the first place to start. Make sure every installed precaution item is working correctly. All egress path lines should be intact and visible. Have professionals check sprinkler systems as well as all generators. Replace nonworking bulbs or batteries in the utilized safety identifiers. Verify all exit locations are properly signed. If lighting does not work, can occupants still find their way out? You can test this by turning off power as it would be in the worst scenario. If you cannot see how to safely remove yourself from the building, then it is time to make a few changes to your egress identification items. Fire safety signs can be constructed of photoluminescent materials which provide visibility without power. GloBrite professionals will be glad to go over the safety and cost benefits experienced from advanced safety identifiers. These materials are replacing more traditional products because of their reliability, non-toxicity, and limited maintenance.

Once you have ensured all code requirements such as fire safety signs are in place, then it is time to think about what practices will be followed in emergencies. Consider what the worst possible scenario could be within your building. Base this on area conditions such as common weather patterns. Also consider any chemicals or other dangerous items used on the premises. Then take a look at the structure blueprints to get an idea of the safest exit routes from any point in the building. Create a method occupants can use to report the fire or any other type of emergency. Then outline a general fire evacuation plan which includes route assignments and specific escape procedures. This plan can include all items needed to assist individuals. If anyone must remain in the building to shut off equipment or take care of a critical operation, be sure to include this information as well. The more detailed your plan is, the better protected everyone will be if an emergency ever occurs in your building.

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