The Intent of an Evacuation Drill

The emergency evacuation training that is developed for you is intended to provide learning experiences for occupants and staff for a variety of emergency conditions including fire, hazardous materials spills, bomb threats, terrorist attacks and building system failures.

Emergency evacuation training is conducted to familiarize occupants with the means of egress from their environment.

Occupants must know what the evacuation alarm sounds like, where the exits are, and the proper response to take during an emergency. It is easy for occupants to overlook the features that are in place for their safety as they go about their day-to-day routine.

As creatures of habit, most people will enter and leave the work environment through the same entrance. Stairways and alternative exits might not be familiar to many occupants, even to those who have worked in the same environment for many years.

During an emergency evacuation event, occupants might travel past emergency exits to get to the entrance (exit) with which they are familiar. Emergency evacuation training provides an opportunity for occupants to learn alternative exit routes under nonthreatening conditions. This familiarity increases the probability of a successful evacuation during an actual emergency.

Emergency evacuation training may be required by codes or regulations, local ordinances, good practice, insurance recommendations, or as a policy of the employer or building owner.

As an example, in New York City, Local Law 26, issued in 2004, requires that evacuation programs, including the development of written emergency evacuation plans, and conducting evacuation training, be performed for office buildings, for incidents such as "fire, explosion, biological, chemical or hazardous material incident or release, natural disaster or other emergency, or the threat thereof."

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