Various scenarios may require evacuation. These could include fire, hazardous material release, bomb threat and earthquake. The building fire alarm is the most common tool to initiate evacuation. The need for evacuation in other situations will be determined by emergency personnel and you will be advised if evacuation is necessary.

If evacuation is necessary:

    1. If time permits, shut down equipment and secure hazardous materials.
    2. Calmly proceed to nearest fire exit  (in case of fire, check doors for heat before opening).
    3. Follow instructions from emergency personnel.
    4. Do NOT use elevators.
    5. Walk — don’t rush or crowd. Use handrails in stairways. Assist people with disabilities.
    6. Move away from the building quickly – watch for falling glass and other hazards.
    7. Proceed to your designated Evacuation Assembly Area and stay there to receive updates or direction from emergency personnel.
    8. DO NOT RE-ENTER THE BUILDING until notified by emergency personnel that it is safe to do so.

Building evacuation planning for persons with mobility challenges:

  • Pre-plan what to do if there is an emergency in your building and know the exit routes available and what horizontal evacuation options exist.
    • Note: Pre-planning is a responsibility of the supervisor, however HSE and/or DRC can support pre-planning activities.
  • If no exit is available then find a safe place and let someone know where you are so that info can be passed to first responders.
      • If you are in one, stay there.
      • If not, move to a safe place in a different part of the same floor (horizontal evacuation).
  • Supervisors/Instructors:
    • Know the layout of your buildings, any exit challenges and potential safe places.
    • Know what you would do if an evacuation occurs and you have folks in your area of responsibility that have mobility challenges.
    • Know and be able to describe (room numbers, etc.) exactly where any persons with mobility-challenges have elected to await rescue.
    • Make sure to tell the first emergency responder you see in detail and make sure action is being taken.


  • Horizontal Evacuation – Moving away from the area of danger to a safer place on the same floor.  Required when the individual cannot use exit stairs to get to the outside and must remain on a particular floor until assistance arrives. In this case, the individual should move away from the area of imminent danger.