Preparation – Before an Emergency Event

The EAP should clearly define the evacuation routes for all workers. There are several specific items that companies should pay particular attention to:

  • Ensure Exit Routes are Clear – All evacuation routes and exits should be checked periodically to ensure they are not blocked in any way by equipment, boxes, or are being inappropriately used as storage. When there is an evacuation, many people will be trying to get out in a hurry. Having anything in the way will not only slow the flow but could be a deadly hazard.
  • Evacuation Routes and Exits Must be Clearly Marked – Do not underestimate the importance of marking and making evacuation routes crystal clear. In the event of a power outage, interior spaces could be dark even during the day. In the event of fire or smoke, finding exit doors and stairwells could be difficult due to impaired visibility. All exit doors should be clearly marked, illuminated, and exit signs should be backed up with battery power. Use photoluminescent paint that glows in the dark and have arrows that clearly show evacuation routes visible throughout the facility including inside corridors, walkways, hallways, and stairwells.
  • Clearly Mark Necessary Emergency Equipment – It is also important to clearly mark any emergency equipment which might be needed for an escape, including PPE, oxygen, or tool kits. Also, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and AEDs, should be easy to find when necessary.

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