All About Fire Evacuation Routes
Approximately 10 people are killed and 46 people injured in fires each day. The medical costs associated with these injuries translate to over $7 billion each year. Emergency exit plans need to be designed and implemented in order to help save lives. When a fire occurs at a house or place of business, everyone needs to be prepared.
What are the physical requirements for a proper emergency exit or evacuation plan? Have you covered all your bases?
Exits In Place
Employees and tenants must be able to evacuate safely and in a timely manner. Sizable buildings where large groups of people gather need to be equipped with proper exits, including signage. Typically, more than two exits are necessary. While each building is different, you want people to be able to quickly evacuate during an emergency situation.
Exit routes are permanent, and the space is for evacuation purposes only. Blocking exit routes, even temporarily for storage or other business endeavors, is never a good idea. All exits must lead occupants outdoors, and they need to be wide enough to accommodate large groups of people. Exits with double doors are ideal because people can evacuate a space more quickly without falling all over each other.
Exit doors must be ready for people to evacuate, too. You do not want door alarms or other features restricting the use of an exit during an emergency. Furthermore, doors that lead to exit routes need to swing open toward the route.
A Look At OSHA Standards
- Exits must remain unobstructed at all times. These spaces must be clear of standard equipment, but also free of misplaced items, trash, and debris.
- Safeguards in place need to be operational. For example, when was the last time the smoke detectors were serviced? What about the fire extinguishers and the on-site sprinkler system?
- Exit routes need proper lighting, and all exit signs need to be illuminated. Without power and with smoke blinding people, they need to be able to find the exits.
- No other signage or decorations should be near exit doors. All exits need to remain clear.
- Signage directing traffic is necessary for exit routes. This helps ensure people know where to go in quick order. It is important to quickly yet calmly evacuate during emergencies.
- Make sure doors are marked so that people do not mistake them as exits. People need to know where the exits are located.
- All exit routes must be maintained after buildings are remodeled or repaired. Keep this in mind when making plans for renovations.
Review Evacuation Route
Businesses need their own evacuation routes in place. If you need assistance, guidance is available through government organizations on the local, state, and federal levels. It is important that your evacuation or exit plan be structured to help people know exactly what is expected of them during a fire or other type of emergency situation.
Specialty Fire Services advises all businesses and homeowners to consider the importance of putting in place fire escape plans. Additionally, we recommend installing fire alarms, fire sprinklers, amongst other tools and equipment that can minimize the impact of a fire. Get in touch with us today to learn more about the services we offer. Visit our blog for more related articles.