Posted by: RJ the Fire Dog Blogger | February 6, 2012

Evacuating a Building: Would you be prepared?

Here is some food for thought.

The information below is not all inclusive and is only intended to motivate you to GET PREPARED! Use your RJWestmore Online Training System TM or building-specific Emergency Manual and onsite training for more complete policies and procedures.

If a disaster of any kind strikes the building where you work or live, you will need to act quickly based on proper training. But not all situations necessitate evacuation. For instance, a power outage does not necessarily call for immediate evacuation. Further, depending upon the circumstances of the emergency (civil unrest for example), it might actually be safer to shelter in place inside the building. I know I would prefer to stay home with my wife and son and our bones.

Reaction time is very important in any emergency. You must be properly trained to react in the safest manner based on the ever changing, unique combination of circumstances. You should also coordinate with the qualified professionals in your building (or emergency responders) to evaluate the nature of the event, gather additional information, including the overall safety of the building and presence of hazardous materials systems (such as power, alarm systems, ventilation, mechanical systems, etc.)

If you hear an alarm, smell smoke, see fire or are instructed to evacuate, use your training and best judgment to immediately move to safety.

  • Assume all alarms are real.
  • Don’t panic. Stay calm.
  • Move quickly but do not run.
  • Call 911.
  • Grab your “Go Bag” and critical personal belongings if it is safe to do so. (Your preassembled Go Bag should have comfortable shoes, prescription medications, energy bar, water, glasses, etc.) [Remember, it could be several hours before you are readmitted to the building.] And don’t forget the dog treats if you are leaving your house.
  • Close doors behind you as you evacuate (but do not lock them). Emergency responders may need to gain access and Floor/Fire Wardens should be searching every room to make sure everyone has moved to safety.
  • Proceed to the nearest safe exit farthest from danger. Do not use the elevator.
  • Head to your predetermined Emergency Assembly Area—Safe Refuge Area and check in immediately. (If you are mobility-impaired in a building with fire-rated stairwells, you will move to the safest stairwell landing with your two assistance monitors (buddies) and wait for emergency responder assistance. If you are mobile and can evacuate safely, you might relocate within your building down to a safer floor or you might completely exit the building.)
  • Wait for any instructions from first responders or building personnel.
  • Do not re-enter the building until you have been instructed to do so by trained professionals.
  • If anyone has been injured, call 911 and inform onsite emergency responders and building personnel.
  • If you have a disability, make sure you inform building management and add yourself to the “Special Assistance List” BEFORE THE EMERGENCY. Learn the shortest, most accessible pathway for exiting from each area. Check with the building owner or property manager for approved evacuation routes, which (based on your unique special needs) should be incorporated as part of their Emergency Action Plan.
    • RJWestmore Online Training System TM users can add/remove themselves from a “Special Assistance List” that automatically notifies building personnel of you and your special needs.

Did you know that safety training is a crucial part of legal compliance for commercial properties? Yep. It’s true. Tenants whose property managers use RJWestmore Training enjoy access to interactive, life-saving instruction available 24/7 right over the internet. Ask your building owner or manager about the RJWestmore System, which helps train tenants and floor wardens for disasters such as fires (which are the most common emergency), earthquakes, bomb threats, medical emergencies, power outages and more.

The RJWestmore Training System provides building-specific information for emergency personnel, so professionals are able to familiarize themselves with property blueprints before they arrive on scene. This type of information is extremely useful because it saves valuable time.

What’s more, the RJWestmore System alerts emergency personnel when individuals in member-buildings require special assistance during an evacuation. This notice includes individuals who are physically challenged, mobility impaired, have temporary or permanent disabilities, medical conditions, pregnancy or any other conditions that could impede or prevent them or others from safely descending stairwells without assistance.

Here are some more RJWestmore Training System 2.5 perks:

  • Everything is available online, including building-specific training and certification
  • Training complies with federal, state and local laws I doubt my obedience training complied with any laws. The teacher was mean.
  • Provides 24/7 training because seconds count when it comes to responding to emergencies.
  • Promotes a safety-oriented environment
  • Prepares you to react immediately
  • Advises about preliminary warning signs
  • Training is one of your best defenses against potentially fatal consequences…even if the teacher is mean.
  • Helps you from becoming a victim.
  • Shows you how to respond to hurricanes ahead of time. Because some emergencies are predictable, there is no excuse for failing to prepare. And because hunger pangs strike, there is no excuse for failing to buy bacon.
  • Immediate action can save your life.
  • Provides information about how to respond to severe weather.   The U.S. is the most severe weather-prone country on earth. Flash floods, excessive rainfall, dam or levy breaches require proper training to mitigate water damage and save lives.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJ Westmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit www.RJWestmore.com  for more information.

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