Being Prepared for an Emergency: The Importance of an Evacuation Plan

All employers, business owners, landlords, occupiers or anyone in control of a premises are all responsible in an emergency. You are known as the ‘Responsible Person’ and if there is more than one of you, you must work together to meet your responsibilities.

A responsible person must:

  • Carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and regularly review it.
  • Inform staff about risks.
  • Develop and maintain safety measures.
  • Create an emergency plan
  • Provide staff with information, fire safety instruction and training.

Most emergency plans will involve evacuating the building. Dangerous situations could include fire, flood, toxic chemical spills. Having a clear evacuation plan that staff are well informed of and well prepared for limits panic and ensures that employees arrive safely and as quickly as possible to the outside of the building in the case of an emergency.

Your place of work needs to have a clear passageway to all escape routes. The escape routes need to be as short and direct as possible, and must be clearly marked. In the event of an emergency it is likely that the electricity will fail or need to be turned off for safety reasons. Plunging the workplace into sudden darkness creates panic as well as physical danger.

It is for this reason that emergency lighting must be considered, and must have a back-up power source so that they will illuminate despite no power being supplied. Emergency lighting must illuminate automatically, providing an adequate level of lighting to allow building occupants to safely evacuate the building.

There are 5 categories of emergency lighting:

  • Emergency Escape Lighting
  • Standby Lighting
  • Escape Route Lighting
  • Open Area Lighting
  • High Risk Task Area Lighting

Most new buildings will have emergency lighting installed during construction in line with Building Regulations. The British Standards provides clear guidelines for different categories of premises. If you are unsure you have sufficient emergency lighting, it is advisable you talk to an expert.

Your premises must have sufficient emergency exits and routes for all the occupants to escape. It must be checked that the emergency doors open easily. A safe meeting point must also be defined, this is often the carpark, keeping a safe enough distance from the building.

A responsible person must ensure that all the staff has sufficient training to know and to be able to use the escape routes. Special arrangements must be made for those with mobility needs, bearing in mind that the lifts should not be used in the event of an emergency, it is essential to designate people to help wheelchair users down the stairs.

Ringtail Lighting is a leading UK manufacturer, designer and supplier of professional LED emergency and amenity lighting equipment. Ringtail has been manufacturing emergency lighting for over 20 years, developing a full range of quality lighting products. Ringtail uses cutting edge technology to develop creative emergency lighting solutions, all utilising LED technology. Led lighting ensures safer, more energy efficient and longer lasting lighting solutions than traditional lighting technologies.

Ringtail is favoured by its loyal customers due to its ability to be able to create bespoke lighting solutions to meet its customer’s specific requirements. All of Ringtail’s products are highly cost effective and come with a 3-year warranty. Ringtail ships its lighting to over 15 countries world-wide.

To find out more about Ringtail’s emergency lighting solutions contact us here.