The ability of the occupants of a building to evacuate in the case of fire to a place of ultimate or total safety is a fundamental aspect of fire safety.

In more complex buildings, this will usually require the appointment of trained staff to assist other occupiers, eg those who may not be familiar with the building.

A “means of escape” can be defined as the structural means whereby a safe route is provided for people to travel from any location in a building or structure to a place of safety without the need of outside assistance.

Each workplace should have an emergency plan which all employees and visitors must be made aware of. There should also be procedures in place to test or exercise the evacuation procedures and to ensure that any person who may need specific assistance is identified and appropriate evacuation plans adopted.

Workflow — Creating a personal emergency evacuation plan

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