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Can you rely on your emergency evacuation plan?

9 May, 2019

If you are not 100 percent confident that your emergency evacuation plan is reliable, chances are it is not.

Having a solid and effective emergency evacuation plan is crucial, even if the likelihood of emergency is low. After all, nobody can predict when an emergency is going to take place and a good plan can mean the difference between safety and danger, life and death. Here are some of the signs of a highly effective emergency evacuation plan:

1. You have the correct plan for your facility

It’s not merely about having an emergency plan in place. You also need to have the correct one, tailored to the unique needs of your facility. Consideration of critical business areas, hazards and risks are an imperative, and often you will require professional help to accomplish this significantly large task.

The Australian government has put together the following emergency management guides to assist you to understand what’s involved:

2. You have clear and accessible evacuation diagrams

There’s no point in having a solid evacuation plan in place if it’s not communicated effectively. Evacuation diagrams are crucial to communication. Clear and accessible diagrams should:

  • Be placed in locations that are easily viewed by occupants and visitors
  • Depict a clear pathway from the location of the diagram to a safe exit
  • Be adequately sized
  • Sit at eye level
  • Effectively represent that specs of the buildings, while detailing the exact location of fire safety equipment.

Click here for an example of an effective diagram created by Fire Block Plans.

3. Your team is well-trained for emergencies

Does your team know and understand your evacuation plan thoroughly? Have they been trained effectively in the use fire equipment? Emergency training is vital, and could mean the difference between a safe exit and danger. Some important training tips:

  • Emergency signs should act as a reminder of your evacuation plan, not a first point of instruction
  • Allocate specific people from your team to specific emergency roles, and ensure that all employees understand their role in each kind of emergency.

4. Your plan is updated regularly

There’s no point in having an emergency plan in place if it is outdated, and does not reflect your current requirements, set-up, floor plan or layout. Your evacuation plan needs maintenance just like your fire equipment. Always consider how any changes to your facility might affect your emergency plan, such as moving to a new location, floor expansion, staff turnover and seasonal events.

5. You have regular drills

Evacuation drills or rehearsals are often deemed annoying, but they’re very essential because they:

  • Ensure your procedures are up to scratch, efficient and coordinated
  • Help you find missing elements, or areas where the evacuation plan can be improved
  • Ensure individuals are comfortable with the emergency evacuation plan, reducing the of panic and uncertainty in a real crisis.

Did you know?

Emergency plans are the responsibility of the PCBU (Persons Conducting Business or Undertakings). If you’re operating a business, it’s essential for you to ensure that all people on the premises are carefully accounted for in an emergency.

Not sure your emergency evacuation plan is up to scratch? Fire Block Plans is here to help you and your team. Our highly-qualified experts will help find a suitable emergency evacuation plan, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.