When you work in a building of any size or style, having an emergency evacuation plan is essential. Whether it’s a business, hospital, or school, everyone within the building should be aware of what to do in the event of an emergency. So how do you establish an emergency evacuation plan for your commercial building? Let’s take a look at a few important factors to keep in mind.
Designate the Right Emergency Exits
First and foremost, deciding which exits will serve as emergency exits is crucial. An emergency evacuation plan should include clear instructions on which exits will serve as both primary and secondary exit points. Choosing the right exits is essential because they need to be in safe, accessible areas. Emergency exits should not be in restrooms, in rooms with hazardous materials, or in areas that lead to narrow hallways. Additionally, all emergency exits should have signs that are easy to see so people know which exit to head towards. Furthermore, when going over emergency exits, an exterior assembly area should be designated as well so people know where to go after exiting the building. Establishing the right exits is an essential first step in any emergency evacuation plan.
Make Sure the Leaders Are Prepared
During an emergency, there should be designated leaders who are responsible for leading people out of the building safely. Volunteer leaders should participate in regular training and practice drills to ensure they’re able to get everyone out safely in an emergency. These leaders should have access to the evacuation plans and any other gear they may need during an emergency evacuation. Additionally, these leaders should effectively communicate evacuation plans to the rest of the people in the building. Please keep in mind that these evacuation leaders don’t necessarily have to be leaders with your organization’s structure. Look for volunteers who are calm under pressure and eager for the role.
Make Sure Your Evacuation Plans Are Inclusive
This is a crucial step that can save lives, yet it’s one that is too often overlooked entirely. With about 15% of the global population currently living with a disability, it’s crucial that evacuation plans are inclusive. Businesses should invest in the proper equipment, like handicap evacuation chairs, that can help everyone evacuate safely. EMS chairs, handicap chairs for stairs, and rescue chairs can all play an integral role in ensuring those with disabilities are able to evacuate safely. All evacuation aids should be easily located and should undergo regular maintenance to ensure all handicap evacuation chairs are in working condition.
Establishing an evacuation plan and having the right equipment is essential for all businesses and establishments. So keep these simple tips in mind to ensure everyone within your office building will be able to evacuate safely if needed.