Emergencies can happen at any time, and when they do, you need to evacuate safely from where you are. Things don’t always go to plan and other hazards and emergencies may hinder the initial strategy to evacuate. When this happens, you need to be focused to be able to handle these new challenges that are presented.

No matter how critical a disaster is, don’t fall victim to these mistakes people often make during evacuations:


Panicking is one of the first reactions people do when put in a stressful situation. The thing about panic is that it’s extremely contagious when you show signs of it. When you panic, you lose your common sense and make unwise decisions. This can prevent you from remaining calm and doing things the right way. 

Although staying calm during an emergency can be tough, there are multiple techniques you can use in order to ensure you are not distracted by surrounding chaos.  Preparation is a great way to prevent panic when evacuating. When you know what to do, you can think more calmly and let what you have been taught and practiced take hold.   You can also pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and visualise your next action. This will help you assess the situation calmly and respond to the problem quickly. 

Underestimating the Emergency Situations

Don’t be complacent because you have heard the alarms go off many times before only to discover they were a false alarm.  When you underestimate the danger, you’ll likely just stay where you are and not make any move to evacuate. You not only ignore the alarm and put yourself at risk, but also potentially other people who are waiting for you to take the lead.  Risk to other lives including those of the Emergency Services during a rescue can be prevented.

Using Lifts

Whether it’s an earthquake or a fire incident, never use a lift when evacuating unless the lift has been approved as a performance solution for evacuation.  Do not enter if you hear alarms in the lift. Fires can cause the electrical systems in a building to short out, meaning if you are in the lift then you could get trapped.  This will then pose other problems that could occur including smoke in the lift shaft reducing your ability to breath or the fire could spread to other floors and engulf the lift. 

When lifts move up and down the shaft they cause air to billow, pushing air around the building and potentially causing more devastation with the fire spreading at a greater pace. 

When you need to evacuate, always take the emergency stairwell so you can safely exit the building premise. Some stairwells may be pressurised to keep you safe until Emergency Services arrive.  Know your building.  Ask your building Manager to confirm.

Not Calling Emergency Services

No matter how trained you are in dealing with emergencies, never hesitate to reach out to the proper authority. Not only are emergency personnel trained in emergency crises, they are also equipped to deal with an emergency. 

Ignoring Directives

One of the common mistakes people make when evacuating is ignoring directives. Time and time again, people put their lives in danger because they didn’t act upon the instructions that authorities have given them. If you’re told to evacuate, make sure you follow the fire safety directives in order to make your way outside or shelter in safely. 

Don’t underestimate Fire Safety Equipment and Evacuation Diagrams as they can help you get out of the building premise unscathed. Refrain from reentering the building premise until the situation is contained and you have approval from the Emergency Services. At Australian Fire Protection, we can prepare you and your team with fire and evacuation training and creation of evacuation plans and evacuation diagrams in order to keep you and your team safe during an emergency. Contact our team today get expert guidance in evacuation planning.

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