Emergency situations in buildings are something no building owner wants to experience, but they do occasionally happen. Being prepared for these catastrophes is the best way to ensure occupants reach safety and that unexpected expenses do not arise. A fire or natural disaster is a very traumatic event for any person involved. It is natural for an individual to become confused, disoriented, and be unable to logically maneuver through a building or structure. If they become injured or lose their way, the panic heightens. Many people attempting to exit a structure in these conditions can easily develop into a stampede of irrational thinking individuals. People get pushed down stairs, knocked down, and trampled as each individual rushes to find safety. Two items ease the confusion and make it possible for occupants to evacuate a building with minimal to no harm. The first is a well planned and practiced evacuation plan. If people are familiar with the building layout and exit locations, they are more likely to know what to do in an emergency. Second, exit signs for buildings and egress markings direct individuals to the safest locations in low visibility conditions. When combined in accordance to building safety regulations, occupants can work through a building calmly in the event of a crisis.
The End Result of a Poorly Marked Evacuation Plan
A building that is not in compliance with occupant safety guidelines may be open to many unnecessary aftermath costs. Every occupant injured due to inefficient exit strategies and identification markings has the capability of filing a lawsuit against the owner. If the owner is proved to be negligible, they may have to pay all medical fees along with settlements for mental distress and other conditions. In the event of a fatality, they will have to provide a settlement to the surviving family members and take a direct reputation hit for the incident. Occupant issues are not the only problem that arises. Now that the local and national authorities know that a problem was present, they may have their own fines. Not to mention, they will inspect the building and lay out requirements to bring it up to par. Until these changes are made, the building will be shut down. Office buildings take a direct hit on daily business. Rental dwellings are not livable until the building is fixed and brought up to code. The owner may have to provide other living accommodations until the occupants can reside in the building again. The costs can be phenomenal for non-compliance.
A little time and effort is all that is required to be compliant. During initial development of the building, owners can ensure designers and builders are meeting the set codes of the area. Installing IBC/IFC compliant exit signs for buildings is vital for evacuation safety. Building owners can take a proactive approach as opposed to being negligible for the end result. With these needed precautions, the cost results of an emergency are far less. Building restoration, insurance claims, and more mundane issues will be the major concern. Injuries remain minimal along with out of pocket costs for medical and legal matters.