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Evocatus Consulting Ltd

Evacuation  Plan

“ By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail”

Benjamin Franklin.

 

 

Incident response

If you are an employer, the owner of a business, a landlord, an occupier or have control of a premises (such as a facilities manager, a building manager or a managing agent) then you are responsible for the fire safety in the business or the non-domestic premises.

This means that you have a responsibility to create an emergency evacuation plan that can be put into action in the event of a fire.

What does creating an emergency evacuation plan involve?

No two emergency evacuation plans are the same and some will certainly be simpler than others, however if you are the owner of a large company or business, your plans may need to be more extensive, cover multiple buildings, events or scenarios.

It goes without saying that cutting corners or not thinking through the possible options in detail could be life threatening to those that you have a responsibility to.

Emergency evacuation is the immediate and urgent movement of people away from the threat or actual occurrence of a hazard. Public responses can vary from inaction to panic. Communication is the key factor in maintaining control when conducting an evacuation

The government website states that your fire and safety evacuation plans should show how you have:

• a clear passageway to all escape routes

• clearly marked escape routes that are as short and direct as possible

• enough exits and routes for all people to escape

• emergency doors that open easily

• emergency lighting where needed

• training for all employees to know and use the escape routes

• a safe meeting point for staff

You should also take into consideration special arrangements for people with mobility issues and exposure to potential hazards.

 

Why is creating an evacuation plan not always straight forward?

Despite looking good on paper, how do you really know if your evacuation plan will work?

Does everyone involved in the business know how to implement the emergency evacuation?

Have you tested the emergency escape routes?

 

How Evocatus can help

The primary objective of an evacuation strategy is to make sure (in the event of a fire) the occupants of a building can reach a place of ultimate safety outside the building. Evacuation procedures are an essential part of the overall fire strategy.

We help organisations to mitigate risk by supporting a range of activities, using exercises and rehearsals to make sure that we get each stage of the emergency evacuation plan correct.

First, we support the drafting and testing of emergency plans and procedures, identifying what responses and actions can be identified ahead of a fire and what approaches are required to manage the situation once it is in motion. We will assess the different possibilities for evacuation including: simultaneous evacuation, phased evacuation, progressive horizontal evacuation, zoned evacuation, two-staged evacuation, defend in place or stay put.

The next step is about rehearsal; making sure that everyone who will use the plan understands it and can apply any process or procedures required to make the right decisions and to make sure that nothing gets missed when stress levels are running high. Time spent on this stage can not only polish and refine the plan, but when done right can makes teams more effective through practice.

Just like a military or sports team, running drills lets people get to know each other better and builds trust and confidence. A well-run rehearsal is also a more engaging and positive way to meet compliance requirements than any mediocre box-ticking exercise.

 

How long will your emergency evacuation take?

When producing Site-Specific Risk Information (SSRI) and incident plans the evacuation of large numbers of people must be considered. A significant factor in planning is the time an evacuation will take. This must account for the time taken for individuals to move towards an exit, and the time taken before movement is initiated.

 

EMERGENCY EVACUATION TABLETOP SCENARIOS

We can work at a variety of scales and complexity to prepare businesses for emergency evacuation response; tabletop scenarios provide a great way to design and develop a robust initial plan and to spark discussion across a team, but nothing beats a live rehearsal, complete with curve balls from our team, to make sure that you are as ready as you can be for a real incident.

 

Get in touch to find out more!