From fire and natural disasters to chemical leaks or armed assailants on the loose, emergencies can happen anywhere — including in office and retail spaces. That’s why having an office emergency evacuation plan is an important part of a comprehensive security and safety system.
A custom-designed fire and evacuation system will constantly monitor retail and commercial spaces for emergency situations. At the first sign of danger, the system can alert occupants and contact emergency responders. A Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) system can detect the first whiff of smoke or the sound of a gunshot, monitor the location of the incident via video surveillance, and communicate the necessary information to police and other emergency personnel.
Once it’s clear that an emergency is underway, it’s essential for employees to be educated on the proper procedures for securing the premises and evacuating the building. This will help ensure that everyone inside the building is able to escape in a quick and safe manner.
Because no one knows what kind of disaster is likely to strike or what the exact circumstances will be, a custom-designed fire and evacuation system can help in developing an office emergency evacuation plan. The system will monitor for emergencies such as a fire, dangerous weather, or an active shooter. Once a threat has been identified, it will create a safe path for building occupants to escape from the danger. Voice instructions will help keep people calm while guiding them to an exit.
Employee Training is Key
In the midst of an emergency, anxiety and noise can create chaos. Educating employees about your office emergency evacuation plan before an unexpected event strikes is the best way to prevent injuries and loss of life.
Make sure that your employees are aware of what certain alarms sound like so they will know how to react. Carrying out drills will help familiarize them with what to expect from your fire and evacuation system. The system will feature visual, as well as audible alerts in order to notify those who can not hear the sound of an alarm during an emergency.
Establish a clear chain of command to prevent confusion during the evacuation. Designate individuals who are authorized to make key decisions around authorizing a shutdown or evacuation of the premises. These should be level-headed individuals who are capable of directing and calming everyone as they assist them through the evacuation.
Ensure that you have procedures in place to assist people who are elderly, disabled, or who do not speak English.
Decide if any employees will be needed to continue or shut down operations in the midst of an emergency. Also designate individuals who will be responsible for shutting off electricity, gas, or water to the building if ordered to do so by emergency officials.
Develop a system to ensure that all areas are clear and that everyone has been safely evacuated. This should include a way to account for all employees after the evacuation.
Plan Ahead for Safety
The most essential element to an office emergency evacuation plan is preparedness. Ensure that your building follows proper guidelines for having safe evacuation routes. This means having them well-lit and clearly marked. Ensure that hallways are wide enough to accommodate all evacuees and that they always remain unobstructed. Train employees on ways to prevent fires and avoidable accidents and hazards.
In addition to this, install a fire and safety system that will constantly monitor the environment for threats and provide alerts and guidance should one arise. You never know when an emergency will arise, but when one occurs, a well-designed security system is the best way to help mitigate the threat and save lives.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.