Be Conspicuous During Evacuations!
In the case of a fire, alarms will beringing, smoke will be reducing visibility and a sense of fear spreadingthroughout the building. The only thing on people's minds will be their quickestmeans of escape.
Thepresence of fire marshals is imperative in maintaining order during emergenciesand help to carry out the evacuation procedure in as short time as possible. Researchhas shown that occupants react quicker when the evacuation issupported by authority figures who give good verbal instructions. To enhance the effectiveness of the evacuation procedure, fire marshals need to be clearly visible and easily identifiable. In the case of a potentially life-threatening situation, occupantsneed to know who to look for to lead them out of the building safely.
A firemarshal needs to be easily identifiable in an emergency, as they areresponsible for ensuring a quick and efficient evacuation. Wearing a highvisibility jerkin will ensure the responsible person is easily seen withincrowds of people. Even if vision is reduced by the build up of smoke, theresponsible person still needs to be identifiable. The high visibility jerkinsare a standardised symbol for the authority figure. This means occupants willultimately look to the authority figure as someone who's instructions can betrusted. With accurate guidance given by the responsible person, a successful evacuation can be carried out.
It is notonly the occupants of the building who need to be able to recognise the firemarshal, it is also imperative that the local authorities are able todistinguish the authority figure. It is the responsibility of the fire marshalto ensure the building is completely clear, and that the local authorities knowwho to look for when they arrive on the scene. The emergency services will lookto the authority figure to provide any information needed.
In theevent of a fire, the authority figure needs to give evacuees the reassurance thatthe instructions they give can be trusted and carried out in full confidence. Theresponsibility of the authority figure is to influence occupants and thus leada quick and effective evacuation. Trusting the responsible person to give clearand concise instructions is imperative in leading a safe evacuation.
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Comment from Evac+Chair International, remarking on the psychology of human behaviour in emergencies:
"Familiarity ofhow people react during an emergency has a major impact on the thought processof individuals and emergency evacuation plans. Ensuring this impact is positivecomes down to comprehensive planning and practice but these are notinterchangeable. Meticulous plans become redundant if people arenâ€™t as familiaras possible with the specific procedures and if these are not regularlyreviewed to ensure they adequately meet the needs of all building occupants.Developing personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) for those who maystruggle with mobility during an emergency also takes priority. Training keypersonnel who can stay calm under pressure is important to ensure they canprovide assistance to others and help ensure individuals are evacuated to asafe place of refuge."
- Mark Wallace is Managing Director of Evac+Chair International
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... In the case of a fire, alarms will beringing, smoke will be reducing visibility and a sense of fear spreadingthroughout the building. ...