An evacuation plan is a major component of a comprehensive fire protection and emergency planning. In the event of a workplace emergency, the staff often face the dilemma of whether they should stay inside the building or evacuate.
Oftentimes, businesses focus on crises that involve staying inside, and hardly ever plan for emergencies that require evacuation. Your employees are one of your biggest assets, thus, building premises safety should be the top priority when starting and maintaining a business. A clearly defined and detailed evacuation diagram in place is vital to ensure the safety of the occupants amidst a crisis.
Evacuation diagrams are a significant part of fire safety and are required under Australian Standards AS 3745-2010 for any buildings over 300 square meters. The evacuation diagrams show the occupants within the building the safest direction of egress in the event of an emergency and indicate the muster point outside the building.
A copy of the evacuation diagram must be posted in a place that is visible to the employees in case of an emergency. Whenever there are significant changes in personnel, introducing new hazards in the premises, or changing the layout of the building, a new plan must be drafted.
In the event of an emergency, especially catastrophic ones, people tend to panic and get into a state of shock. Their anxiety and panic causes confusion and they would start to run and try to escape the building as soon as possible. Anxiety, panic, and confusion only add to the risks of property damage and injury.
The employees and staff must have level-headed and calm leaders who can coordinate the essential tasks and ensure that the evacuation is done in an orderly manner. The company will need to appoint leaders who will act as coordinator, head counter, first aid expert, and a person who acts as the point of contact. A clear chain of command is essential in keeping the employees safe in the time of unfortunate events such as fire.
A muster point or designated assembly point must be put in place and indicated in the evacuation diagram. The diagram will guide the employees on where they will need to assemble after leaving the building.
Instead of getting into vehicles and separating to different sides outside the building, the evacuation plan will direct the staff to a safe place to assemble. Meeting at the muster point after escaping helps the head counters to account for everyone. This ensures that accurate information can be relayed to the emergency personnel. When all is accounted for, occupants may head to an evacuation facility.
Emergency planning does not end at placing an evacuation diagram on designated places. Business owners and managers must ensure that the path of egress is free from obstructions. Over time, unused spaces and hallways become dumping grounds. These small piles of junk may turn into bigger piles adding to the risk and hazards of the building.
They congest the exit routes that are important during an emergency evacuation. Regular route inspections ensure that these passages are free from obstructions. Furthermore, employees are made to practice walking through the escape route in a measured and calm manner during routine emergency drills. This helps them identify route blockages that can impede their mobility.
Ensure the safety of your workplace by hiring professionals to draft a fire evacuation diagram for your business. Contact FCF today, for a free quote.