When a fire threatens your workplace, what do you do? The answer is simple: Get out as quickly and safely as possible. And the more you know about fire safety precautions at work and what to expect in the event of an evacuation, the better prepared you’ll be. A fire can spread quickly through an office building or industrial plant. If you’re caught in a burning building, it may not be possible to exit via standard routes. In such a scenario, emergency evacuation procedures become vitally important. Fire doors, such as those from Capital Fire Doors, play a key role in ensuring that employees can escape from any wing of a property as soon as they are notified of the danger. This article explains everything you need to know about fire doors and emergency evacuation protocols in commercial properties.
What is an Emergency Evacuation?
An emergency evacuation is a controlled process for getting people out of a dangerous environment as quickly and safely as possible. This may be necessary for a variety of reasons. These include a fire, a chemical or gas leak, or any other type of threat that could harm people if they remain in the area. Emergency evacuation procedures are typically a part of building fire and safety codes. They require employers to outline the exact steps their employees should take to get out of the building as quickly as possible if there is a threat to their safety. An emergency evacuation is different to a fire drill because in the case of the former, a threat to life or property is actually taking place.
Why are Fire Doors So Important During Evacuations?
In the event of an evacuation, the first step for a building’s occupants should be to open fire doors and clear passageways. This allows them to move away from the threat as quickly as possible and also allows emergency responders easier access to deal with the situation. Fire doors are important parts of any commercial building’s infrastructure. They are passive safety features that are not activated by humans. As such, they can be relied upon to work properly at all times, even when no one is around to open them. People often forget about fire doors during an evacuation because they are designed to be fail-safe. In many cases, they are opened automatically when a fire alarm is triggered. When this happens, they are designed to stay open until they are manually closed again. This ensures that other parts of a property are not exposed to danger. Without them, the rest of the building could quickly become engulfed in flames.
What to Expect During an Emergency Evacuation
During a fire evacuation, you will hear announcements over the building’s public address system directing you to leave the building. The evacuation may be partial, in which case you will be instructed to leave only certain areas or floors. Or it may be full, in which case you will be told to leave the building immediately. In either case, you must leave as quickly and calmly as possible. Do not dawdle; speed is of the essence. Your building may be under threat from fire, smoke, or even a chemical leak. If you remain inside, you could be in serious danger. If you have any mobility issues or special circumstances, such as caring for young children, make sure you communicate your needs to your co-workers. They should do everything possible to ensure you are evacuated safely.
How to Perform an Effective Evacuation Drill
Fire safety management experts recommend that commercial properties run regular evacuation drills to improve their emergency procedures. This is also a legal requirement in many locations. Evacuation drills are designed to test the building’s fire alarms and other safety equipment as well as the actions of the building’s employees. They should be timed to occur when the building is quiet, such as late at night, to minimize the disruption to work. The building’s fire safety team should be present at the drill. They should also communicate their findings and recommendations to the building’s management team after the drill is complete.
Commercial buildings need to be built with fire safety in mind. This includes features such as fire doors, sprinkler systems, and emergency evacuation stairwells. If a fire breaks out, these features can make the difference between life and death for employees. Fire doors are particularly important because they help prevent the fire from spreading to other parts of the building. They also help guide people to the nearest emergency exit and keep them away from the flames.