A written plan for emergencies and fire drills is essential for each major HSC building. Evacuation exercises are particularly important for student-residence facilities, high-rise buildings, patient treatment facilities, and daycare centers. Studies show that when occupants discuss, plan, implement, and practice evacuation plans, they are better able to protect themselves and others.
7.1 Developing a Plan
Each department or building proctor is responsible for developing a comprehensive plan for evacuations and fire drills. The best way to develop this plan is to form an implementation committee with members from each building floor and each department. The team should consider the following when developing the plan:
- Contact your component's safety officer for assistance in developing an evacuation plan for your building.
- Building evacuation routes or maps should provide an accurate layout of the building and multiple exit routes from any location. These plans must be posted in prominently traveled areas (e.g., hallways, stairwells, dorm rooms, etc.). Unusual building layouts require more evacuation maps to be posted.
- Special attention must be given to evacuation procedures for the physically challenged. Even if no known building occupants have special needs, the evacuation plan must contain these provisions to ensure the safety of visitors or others with special needs.
- A preplanned meeting place for evacuated occupants should be at least 200 feet from the building and clear of fire hydrants and access roads.
- Ensuring that persons on the floor are aware of an emergency and the need to evacuate.
- Ensuring that building evacuation routes are clearly posted in prominently traveled areas.
- Ensuring that new employees are familiar with evacuation and fire drill procedures.
- Certain people on each floor (floor proctors) should be responsible for the following:
8. Conducting Fire Drills and Evacuations
To ensure that building occupants are prepared for an emergency evacuation, fire drills must be conducted every semester. A safe and orderly evacuation is more important than a quick evacuation.
Before conducting a practice fire drill, do the following:
- Notify your Dean/Director at least one week in advance.
- Notify the Office of Finance and Administration.
Practice fire drills should proceed as follows:
- Fire drills should involve all occupants. Everyone should leave the building when the fire alarm sounds. A person may be exempt from a fire drill if it will cause undo hardship (e.g., interrupt an experiment); however, exemptions are strongly discouraged.
- Occupants should close (not lock) doors as they leave the work area. Items that require security may be placed in a locking file cabinet or desk drawer on the way out.
- Floor proctors should check all rooms and close doors on their way out.
- All building occupants should gather in the preplanned meeting place.
- Floor proctors should take a "head count" to determine if all occupants have left the building.
- Upon completion of the drill, the building proctor completes a Fire Drill Checklist and forwards it to the Environmental Health & Safety Department (Mail Stop 4472)