Emergency evacuation plans

Emergency sign

As a facility owner, you have a duty to ensure the safety of your students and employees. The American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) Health/Fitness Facility Standards and Guidelines recommends that a facility must be able to respond in a timely manner to any reasonably foreseeable emergency event that threatens the health and safety of facility users.

ACSM recommends that a facility must:

  • Have an appropriate emergency response plan.
  • Have qualified personnel to execute its emergency response plan.
  • Be able to execute its emergency response plan in a timely manner.

Moreover, according to the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “an emergency action plan must be in writing, kept in the workplace, and available to employees for review. However, an employer with 10 or less employees can communicate the plan orally to employees.”

The effectiveness of your plan depends on how well you communicate and practice it. Communicate your plan to employees regularly and increase students' and employees' awareness by involving them in fire drills. Post floor evacuation plans showing the exit routes from a building or floor.

Include the following information in your fire evacuation plan:

  • Identification of emergency egress or escape routes.
  • Procedures for accounting for employees and occupants after the evacuation has been completed.
  • Identification and assignment of personnel responsible for rescue and emergency medical care.
  • Regular inspection of exit routes to ensure they are not blocked.
  • Procedures for identifying the whereabouts of students and guests to ensure their safe egress from your building.
Emergency sign
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