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How to build a highly effective Emergency Response Plan

13 Dec, 2022

The health and safety of your people is the most important thing of all, which is why an effective emergency response plan is so crucial. 

Take it from us, there is nothing worse than being stuck in an emergency situation without a plan. This is what makes an Emergency Response Plan such an important tool. Also known as Emergency Management Plan or Facility Emergency Plan, an Emergency Response Plan contains all the crucial information you need to react fast and save lives. This includes all the roles and responsibilities of staff, emergency phone numbers, potential risks for the workplace, critical procedures, visitor management and other vital information. Here’s how to build an emergency plan you can rely on.

Ensure you have the correct plan for your facility

Yes, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place, but this also needs to be the correct one, tailored to the unique needs of your facility. The creation of an effective emergency response plan will therefore involve consideration of critical business areas, hazards and key risks to your business. Be careful in your planning – don’t rush – and only use a different facility’s plan as a guide. Copying a different business’ emergency response plan won’t guarantee safety in a different setting, under different conditions. 

Ensure you have top-notch Evacuation Diagrams

Evacuation diagrams are a very important element of your emergency response plan, giving your staff clear instruction in a time of chaos. Your diagrams should:

  • Be placed in locations that are easily accessible
  • Depict a clear pathway from the location of the diagram to the exit
  • Be adequately sized and sit at eye level
  • Correctly represent the specs of the buildings, while detailing the exact location of fire safety equipment.

View an example of an effective evacuation diagram created by our team at Fire Block Plans.

Ensure your team gets excellent safety training

Having a plan is one thing; but knowing how to use it is another. That’s why ensuring your staff are well-trained in your processes is so important. Training provides important information to your team that is very difficult to figure out on the spot. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Give your staff regular, hands on training in your evacuation procedures and how to use fire equipment
  • Conduct regular fire drills. Not only will this help refresh your team’s knowledge, but it will also help you solve any problems with your emergency procedures, helping streamline your plan and increase safety.

Make your emergency procedures memorable

Even the best procedures are of no use if they’re complicated and hard to understand. It’s essential to make your procedures easily accessible to everyone, and to ensure they are highly memorable. One good tactic is to use the RACE acronym when training people in your fire procedures. RACE simply stands for: Remove, Alarm/Alert, Confine, Extinguish/Evacuate. It’s a useful mnemonic for a fire emergency, because it is easy to remember – and can be called on even when people are in crisis mode. The RACE steps can be taught in tandem with your fire procedures, based on the unique layout, fire risks and location of your building. 

Read about what’s involved in a RACE fire plan

Want to know what a good emergency management plan looks like? You can download a reference emergency management plan here

Other resources to help build your emergency response plan 


Need help upgrading your fire escape plan? 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.