Lab Manager | Run Your Lab Like a Business

Emergency Evacuation Plans

The safe, orderly and prompt evacuation of building occupants depends on having the physical safety features of a building in operating condition as well as having an emergency evacuation plan.

by Other Author
Register for free to listen to this article
Listen with Speechify
0:00
5:00

In the event of a fire or other emergency, seconds count. The safe, orderly and prompt evacuation of building occupants depends on having the physical safety features of a building in operating condition as well as having an emergency evacuation plan. The cooperation and participation of every building occupant is essential. Every person that lives and works in a building has an individual responsibility to know how to evacuate in an emergency and to accomplish the evacuation when the fire alarm device sounds or when directed by an authority. This guide will help you to prepare for emergency situations that might arise in your facility.

Pre-plan your escape

Get training in Technical Safety Topics and earn CEUs.An IACET-accredited five-course stream in the Academy.
Technical Safety Topics Stream
  • Know the location of fire alarm pull box locations.
  • Make sure your floor has at least two unobstructed ways out.
  • Check the fire exits to make sure they are usable.
  • Do not use the elevators. They could become disabled, trapping you on the fire floor.
  • Know the location of fire rated stairwells that will provide a protected path all the way to the outside.
  • Learn the sound of your buildings fire alarm. They could be bells, chimes, horns or a coded gong.
  • Post emergency numbers near all telephones.
  • If you have fire blankets in your area, know how to use them.

If there is a fire or fire alarm, everyone evacuates!

  • If you discover a fire or smoke condition, sound the building alarm by activating the nearest pull station.
  • Whenever you hear the fire alarm sound,leave immediately! Don't assume the fire alarm is false or a test and wait to see what others do. In a fire, seconds count.
  • Try to help others, if you can do so safely.
  • Unless unusual conditions dictate otherwise, the best evacuation route is the nearest stairway and out the nearest exit.
  • When leaving, close (do not lock) the door behind you. If the door locks automatically, take your key with you in case you need to get back in for refuge.
  • Once outside, meet at your assembly point and take a head count to make sure everyone is out and accounted for. Never attempt to re-enter the building to search for someone missing, let fire or police officials know.

Is the door hot?

  • Before opening a door, you should make sure there is no fire on the other side by using the back of your hand to touch the door, door knob or door frame.
  • If any feel hot, don't open it, there is probably fire on the other side. If cool, open the door slowly, leave the area and close the door behind you.
  • Stay low when there is smoke.
  • If you encounter smoke while escaping, crawl or get as low as you can. The cleanest air will be within 1 to 2 feet from the floor. If the main exit is blocked by fire or smoke, you should use your alternate route. If this is not feasible, go back in your room to wait for rescue.

If you can't escape

  • Close all doors between you and the fire.
  • Seal cracks around doors with cloth to keep the smoke out.
  • Call 911 to notify them of your location.
  • While waiting for rescuers, signal from a window by hanging clothes out the window, waving an object or shouting.