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Evacuation Procedures

When the order for evacuation is given, all persons must evacuate the building entirely. Due to the design of the building, it may not be necessary for all occupants to evacuate at once. The exact nature of a situation will guide emergency personnel in determining how an evacuation will be conducted.

Always use stairwells! They are the primary means of evacuation at all times. Elevators will not be used for evacuation unless ordered by the Safety Director or the Westlake Fire Department.

When evacuation is necessary:

  • Instructions will be given at the time of evacuation as to which stairwell(s) to use.
  • Follow safe evacuation procedures:
    • Remain calm.
    • Advise employees to proceed quietly and orderly.
    • Remove high-heel shoes.
    • Walk to the right of the stairwell in a single file line as the fire department may use the same stairwell to gain entry.
    • Do not carry items out of the building other than briefcases or purses.
    • If smoke is encountered during your evacuation, get on your hands and knees, and stay close to the wall.

Upon reaching the bottom level, exit the building. Be careful of traffic, falling glass or other hazards. Each person should proceed directly to their company’s designated meeting place and check in with their representatives. Do not attempt to remove vehicles from the parking garage. This will interfere with emergency response personnel.

Tenant Responsibilities During an Evacuation

Property Management strongly encourages every tenant to create an internal, company specific, emergency procedures plan using the guidelines outlined in this manual. Areas of responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Assign two-person teams (Assistant Wardens) to assist the disabled.
  • Take emergency flashlights or other portable lights in case of an electrical power failure.
  • Take company First Aid Kits, if it is readily available and not too heavy.
  • Properly secure and safeguard special company records (i.e. documents, original contracts, negotiable instruments, etc.) and lock the appropriate files, vaults, closets, desks, etc.
  • Unplug appropriate electrical equipment and machines, computers, microwaves, coffee makers, etc.
  • Check for employee and visitor stragglers, turn OFF lights and close office doors. DO NOT LOCK if your office is involved in the fire.

All company personnel should be versed on evacuation procedures, the Assembly Area and assembly instructions as determined by the Floor Warden. Give appropriate direction to visitors who may not be familiar with the building.

Once it is found to be safe to return to the building, an All Clear call will be given to the Assembly Areas by the building’s Emergency Response Team.

IMPORTANT: If you determine that your employees or visitors are in danger, and you cannot reach the Property Management Office by telephone in a reasonable length of time, you may determine it prudent to exercise your independent judgment and move or evacuate your personnel without being given specific routes to follow.

Mobility Impaired Persons

Persons who cannot evacuate via the building’s stairwells should make their way into the stairwell and await assistance from the fire department. Each mobility-impaired person should have a fellow co-worker (Assistant Warden) assigned to them during an evacuation. The person assigned to assist should be fully capable physically to assist the mobility impaired person. The Property Management Office maintains listings of all mobility-impaired persons in the building. Impairments can be either temporary, (i.e. broken/injured leg) or permanent (i.e. wheelchair bound persons). In either event, please make sure the Property Management Office is advised of the identity and floor location of any mobility-impaired employees so accurate records can be maintained. This information will be given to the fire department upon their arrival.

IMPORTANT: The Floor Warden of a floor with a Mobility Impaired Person should give confirmation to a member of the Emergency Response Team (Green Vest) that the Mobility Impaired Person listed on our records is in the building. Provide them with the floor number and stairwell that the person is located.

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