Tips to Help Your Staff Evacuate a Building Safely With Double Action Doors
Safety drills are not just for fires. There are numerous emergencies that require the safe evacuation of a building, such as power outages, and gas or chemical leaks. These drills teach workers the evacuation routes and procedures so they can escape safely in the event of an emergency.
With an evacuation plan, proper training, multiple emergency exits, and double action doors, you can help your employees escape emergencies safely and quickly.
Here are some tips to conduct effective safety drills at work.
Create a Safety Committee
You can create a workplace safety committee with team leaders who are appointed from each department. The team leaders are responsible for ensuring that everyone from their department safely evacuates the building during an emergency. Team leaders must also meet their team in a predetermined location that is a safe distance from the building, and count heads to make sure everyone from their department is safe.
The safety committee should schedule and time practice drills on a regular basis.
Provide Evacuation Information
Prior to safety drills, employees should know the evacuation paths and safety exits for their areas in the building. They should also learn alternative routes in case their closest exits are blocked or unavailable. You should post detailed evacuation maps throughout the building so employees can study them and refer to them in case they need a reminder. Training for reporting fires, using a fire extinguisher, and who to contact in emergencies is also recommended.
Have Regular Safety Drills
Start out with one safety drill every two weeks for about 10 weeks. It may take a few drills before everyone can get out on time. You can treat the slow people as “casualties,” and post their names on a board of casualties with the date of the drill. This may motivate them to move faster during future drills and real emergencies.
Once the training period is completed, and there are no more “casualties,” you can start holding unscheduled drills around once every three months. With these drills, you can have people holding signs at certain exits that read, “Exit blocked—find another exit.” This will help employees learn alternative evacuation routes, realize the severity of emergency evacuations, and reduce panic in the event of a real emergency with a blocked exit.
When going through safety training, some employees may not be motivated enough to complete the drills on time or at all, especially if they have been doing drills regularly. So, if this happens, team leaders should come up with incentives to encourage departments to move quickly and complete the drills without any casualties.
These incentives can also boost a sense of teamwork, helping teams feel proud for evacuating the building on time.
During practice drills, do not actually block exits with objects, turn off lights, or simulate smoke. These can cause panic and pose serious safety threats to your employees as they attempt to evacuate the building.
With a safety committee, evacuation plan, and emergency exits with double action doors, you can hold regular safety drills to teach staff how to exit a building quickly in any emergency. Once your employees have mastered the safety drills, you can be assured knowing they will be safer in real emergencies.