Evacuation Mistakes People Make

Operating a Fire Extinguisher Without Training – While emergency fire extinguishers may appear simple enough to handle, these devices still require a minimum amount of training to be effective as time is always of the essence when dealing with the fire emergency. Not all fire extinguishers carry the same chemical components, and there is no extinguisher type which works on all fire types.  Failure to identify the fire source and extinguisher type may result in wasted time and resources. Knowing where to stand in relation to the flame and direction of the nozzle on the equipment is vital in keeping the fire extinguisher efficient. Standing too close may result in injury, while standing too far, might negate the fire extinguisher completely. Aiming the nozzle at the base of the fire will assist to eliminate the flame. Safety of life over property is always the priority. If you’re not familiar with operating a fire extinguisher, it would be best to proceed with the evacuation plan and leave the device to be used by someone with training.

Running and Shouting – Regular evacuation drills help to prepare people mentally for the real thing. Without proper preparation, people will revert to a primal fight-or-flight response, when emergencies occur. Evacuation Practices are more efficient when performed in a calm and orderly fashion. Panic can lead to injury. Tripping and falling over is more likely to happen while a person is running and can cause a domino-effect causing additional hazards during the emergency. Staying calm allows people to think logically and make better decisions.

Not Staying in the Designated Assembly Area – This location has usually been identified beforehand as a relatively safer space where evacuees can be further away from imminent and secondary dangers and is identified on the Evacuation Diagrams in the facility if provided. This designated area is also where the Emergency Control Organisation (Chief Wardens, Wardens and others) will account for all personnel and assess any needs the evacuees may have including First Aid.  If someone is missing from the Assembly area, Emergency Services will need to assume that these unaccounted persons are still in the danger zone and need further assistance. If that person has evacuated after all, and just failed to report to the designated spot, places the Emergency Services personnel at risk, which can be avoided if everyone is accounted for.

Going Back Inside – For whatever reason, going back inside a hazard area is never advised. Whether it’s to retrieve property, pets, or other people, it’s best to leave those to Emergency Services. Even though a structure that caught fire visually seems safe from the outside, there’s no telling if there are still fires going on inside or small embers that could ignite to more giant flames in an instant. Fires and earthquakes damage a building’s structural integrity and going back inside is to risk injury from collapses and falling debris. 

Assuming that Emergency Services have been Notified – In the midst of an emergency, even someone with presence of mind can be overwhelmed by disastrous unfolding events. While the priority during emergencies is getting people to safety, early notification to the Emergency Services can dictate how events will unfold. Relatively small fires can easily be contained with prompt response times, and this is especially important for structures containing highly flammable materials, such as chemicals and paper products. 

Turn to Australian Fire Protection for a well-designed fire evacuation plan and evacuation diagram. We can provide tailor-made programs for all types of businesses and industries, including retail stores, schools, and recreational facilities. With our years of experience, you can rest assured that we will provide you with up-to-date practices to keep your building’s safety levels in compliance with all Australian safety standards. Call us today for an onsite consultation. 

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