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How to prepare an emergency evacuation plan

An integral part of any company’s health and safety measures is the institution of an emergency plan. After all, disasters are both unforeseeable and unpredictable. Whether they are man-made or natural, these events can happen anytime, even in those periods when everybody least expects them to happen. As a business owner or a building manager, the single thing you want to avoid is for these calamities to happen and everyone in your business or building is unprepared or worse, do not have any idea on what to do. Thus, having an emergency plan that succinctly explains the process to follow if a disaster such as a fire happens is of utmost importance.    

What elements make up an emergency evacuation plan should be communicated to all employees? These points need to be clearly and completely rolled out to staff: 

When a fire is discovered, what must be done? 

  • The alarm should be raised. 
  • Emergency serviced should be contacted. 
  • Staff may try to extinguish the fire if it is still small enough. 
  • If unsure, staff needs to evacuate ASAP. 

When a fire alarm is heard, what must be done? 

  • Leave the premises as fast as possible through the selected fire exit or emergency route, which every employee should know from the first day of working in the building. 
  • If you are a designated fire marshal, you may have to accomplish additional responsibilities once you hear the alarm ringing. 

Know where the exits and escape routes are. 

  • Clear signs should be present leading to these exits and routes, especially those that aren’t regularly used. They need to be free from obstructions like boxes and furniture all the time. 
  • All building users need to know where these routes and exits are and they should participate in fire drills at least once yearly so they will be familiarized with using them. 
  • Every floor should display an emergency evacuation map in areas with high foot traffic for increased awareness. 

Employees should know how the alarm is raised, where the fire alarm call points are, and how they are used. 

Employees should know the procedure in calling the fire service so that in the absence of the fire marshal, fire and rescue services can still be contacted. 

Persons with disabilities should have a customised emergency and evacuation plan which at the very least, should be known to teammates.