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On any given day, people are prone to a number of accidents and can experience emergencies, for which they are not prepared. For this very reason, it is imperative that you stay vigilant at all times and read up on what to do in case of an emergency. The most common emergencies people experience are either at home or at their workplace. In most cases, workplace emergencies are closely related to the facility where people work. The same applies to homes in apartment complexes. In case of any building emergency, the same protocols are required, and this blog will give you all about the emergency evacuation dos and don’ts.
Emergency Evacuation Do’s & Don’ts
In order to understand the do’s and don’ts during emergency evacuation, you first need to know about the various kinds of emergency situations
Procedure For building Evacuation: Kinds Of Emergencies
Building emergencies are fairly common nowadays, with the advent of high-rise constructions. Multiple floors in a building tend to slow down response to emergencies, which can also prolong the crisis at hand.
The most common type of electrical malfunctioning is ‘short circuiting,’ which occurs due to differences in electrical voltage. When the voltage being supplied is greater than what is required or the load carriage capacity of the wires, the wires can break to cause fire. This is fairly common in places where electricity outages, and irregular voltage are common.
Building fires can be caused by short circuiting, as well as through improper disposal of cigarettes, open burning of flammable materials (such as coals during barbecue, or paper), gas leakage, cooking and lighting equipment.
For these very reasons, many office buildings have now designated areas for smoking and office kitchens are made redundant. However, these same measures can not be introduced in apartment buildings; and so additional measures are needed such as regular inspections of the building to check the quality of electrical wires, gas leakage if any, etc.
In the face of such natural disasters, there are no preventative ways, except for using earthquake-resistant building materials and having an evacuation plan ready at the go.
Now that we have sorted out what constitutes a building emergency, let’s draw a clear emergency evacuation plan that you need to follow to remain safe.
What Are The Do’s & Don’ts In Responding To An Emergency
In case of a building emergency, follow these steps to evacuate in a safe manner.
If you are the first person to find out about the emergency, you need to communicate it with your family and co-workers, so they can be alarmed. However, you need to ensure that you remain calm and vigilant to your surroundings. You should not panic as this might panic others and create fatigue.
2. Gather your belongings
This can only be done if you have enough time and/or the police officials have asked you to. Otherwise, you must not wait to gather things and evacuate immediately. However, it is advisable to pick up your cordless phone or mobile so you can contact for help and aid. The pets should also be moved towards safety.
3. Identify the source of emergency
If there is a fire in the building, it is best to first locate its source, and see how far it has spread. This will allow you to adopt an alternative route, away from the smoke and evacuate as safely as possible. A lot of times, people rush towards the emergency exit/staircase, which isn’t always a good idea since the source of fire can be located there as well. In most cases than not, it is the unused areas which go unchecked for longer periods of time, and are hazards to emergencies like fire.
4. Turn off utility connections
It is best to always turn off utility connections in case of an emergency. This helps in preventing the crisis from exacerbating. In case of a fire or short circuiting, turning off utility connections ensures there is less fuel to further spread it.
5. Follow the evacuation route/instructions closely
Each building plan has a thorough and tested evacuation route which is placed prominently in lobbies and reception areas. Before evacuating, it is best to look at it carefully and understand the route you should take. If security officials have entered the building, it is imperative to always follow their instructions, and the routes they direct you towards.
6. Cater to more vulnerable people first
Vulnerable people are older people, differently-abled, expecting and young mothers who are recuperating. You should help these people evacuate first as they can’t do so on their own and would need your help.
These are the instructions that you have to follow, however, there are a lot of things that you have to avoid at all costs. These are:
- Don’t huddle
While crowding is a common sight in case of an emergency, it is essential that you keep moving. When crowds are formed, it is harder to evacuate in a timely manner. Many people might also start to feel suffocated and/or face injuries if they don’t have enough space to move.
- Don’t use the elevator
During an emergency, the first thing to be cut off is the electricity supply. If you take the elevator, there are chances that you might get stuck. This will put a strain on emergency evacuation efforts, and you could also be stuck in there for a long time.
- Don’t leave fire doors open
If your building has been made according to the latest building standards, then it will have stronger, fire-resistant doors which can control fire fairly easily. If you know from where the fire is spreading, you can contain it by locking the doors which can easily hold the fire for up to 30 minutes.
- Don’t remain close to the building after evacuating
A lot of people remain much closer to the building premise even after evacuating. You should know that the area around the building in itself is a hazard and should be left vacant. Also, make way for the fire brigade or the building inspectors so they can carry out their work properly.
What other do’s and don’ts do you think should be added? Let us know by writing to us at email@example.com. Also, keep checking Pakistan’s largest property blog, Zameen Blog for the latest news on property.