Evacuation plan for your office


Evacuation drill in Łużycka Office Park (pic SPIE Poland)
"Break at work" for office users or "duty under the law" for owners of buildings – these are the main examples of wrong understanding of the issue concerning evacuation drill.

The next stage is to devise a plan and to write a scenario. It is performed together with the building’s owner and the activities must be planned up-to-the-minute. Furthermore, all tools necessary for realization of the evacuation must be prepared earlier. Thus, e.g. smoke pots should be purchased since they enable making the smoke which is safe for people. The preliminary schedule should also include the way and place of spreading the smoke as well as defining the methods of its removal after the completion of exercises. As Michał Rejkiewicz points out: It should be always remembered that after evacuation the employees should go back to their worksites where they will be provided with proper conditions to work. We cannot lead to a situation when there is no chance for returning to work because of big smoke coming from devices and elements outside which were to create this kind of smoke by artificial means.


Cooperation is certainly crucial during the evacuation drill and it should be noticeable among all engaged teams such as fire fighters, technical service, coordinators of tenants, etc. For instance, the evacuation exercises in Łużycka Office Park were prepared by SPIE Poland, which is responsible for facility management, in cooperation with Allcon Investment and the State Fire Brigade in Gdynia.


Participants of the evacuation should also have a chance for expressing their concerns about the action. Their suggestions allow to introduce repair programs or make some amendments in the fire scenario.


Evacuation drill in practice

Offices are also subjected to the regulations concerning the evacuation drill. According to the above paragraphs, this duty should be taken seriously and it should be easy to prepare because it enhances the sense of security among employees as well as it allows to prepare them to the situation of real danger. The example is the office complex where such evacuation drill was performed – that is Łużycka Office Park: almost 1000 employees from 5 buildings of the complex took part in the evacuation which lasted about 13 minutes. It is worth remembering that it is important to create the imitation of real danger during such action. The earlier mentioned smoke pots were used in Łużycka Office Park. It is a place where the fire could spread to the other buildings and employees' cars very easily. According to the envisaged scenario, the fire was to be made in two different locations (the building situated at the main switchgear plant at the level of the car park as well as the other building on the roof). The smoke coming from them activated the fire alarm of the 2nd degree and thus it started the evacuation drill of the whole office park.


There are many people working in the office and the evacuation drill is always conducted having them in mind. It constitutes a good occasion to know the proper habits how to behave in the face of danger and it allows to prepare yourself independently to the evacuation. In case of danger, every minute is important. Sometimes short seconds decide about someone's health and even life. In panic it is more difficult to make rational decisions, and then habits and experiences gained during the evacuation drill can turn out to be very useful. Such exercises enhance the sense of security among employees and they certainly constitute something more for them than just a few-second-long break at work.


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