Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works
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Why Have a Written Fire Evacuation Plan?

When the alarm sounds, don't silence, call the fire department, get out with everyone else
The evacuation plan can take many forms, depending on the building. The reason for writing the plan down is that later it can be changed.


By Douglas Krantz

One time, I had a fire inspector tell me that he requires a written evacuation plan for all buildings. The reason, he said, is not that the evacuation plan wouldn't be perfect as it was written, but that writing the plan out, it could then be changed.

No plan is perfect. Without a plan, sooner or later, someone will think the plan should be improved. If the plan was never written down, that person can change what they do in case of fire, but that would be it; only that person has changed their procedure.

On the other hand, when a written plan is changed, not just one person will know about the new evacuation plan, everyone will know about the new plan.

-- In a school, each staff member will know who needs to be looking for the fire, who needs to escort the students out of the building, who needs to be checking rosters to make sure everyone left safely.

-- In a hospital, each department will know who will close all the patient doors, who will grab a fire extinguisher, who will meet the firemen.

-- In a tall office building, each person will know who should get out of the building first, who should check out the fire, who should be manning the fire command center.

In each case, written plans help everyone to know their jobs, even if their job is to leave the building and let the professionals come in to fight the fire.
Based on his electronics training, and his understanding of Life Safety, Douglas Krantz has compiled his knowledge of Conventional Fire Alarm Systems into the book Make It Work - Conventional Fire Alarms. The book covers the basics of the Conventional Fire Alarm System, and shows how Life Safety and internal supervision affects the fire alarm system.

Douglas Krantz -- Fire Alarm Engineering Technician, Electronic Designer, Electronic Technician, Writer

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