Why Use EvacFlag™

    The Problem



    During an emergency evacuation drill at a busy hospital, it was observed that the same rooms were being searched by multiple people, delaying the evacuation process.

    As there was no fixed form of communication indicating rooms had already been evacuated and checked, staff were unintentionally rechecking the same rooms.

    Concerned if double checking was happening in a planned drill, what were the potential risks and consequences in the chaos of a real emergency evacuation.

    Which rooms have been checked?

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    Today’s Situation



    As the last person through an evacuated area, it is difficult to determine which rooms have been checked and which ones have not.

    Some facilities have attempted to eliminate this issue by using sticky notes, masking tape on doors, drawing a X on doors with chalk or marker, or placing a pillow in front of a door after clearing the room. Each of these methods have their own problems but, in particular, relies on closing doors.

    The Australian and New Zealand building standard 3745-2010 recommends that in the event of a bomb threat “…doors and windows should be opened to lesson blast effect and, not closed as in the case of fire” (Appendix B6.2).

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    Accountability

    There is a deficiency and an opportunity for improvement in current emergency plans and emergency response procedures. Duplication of searches and missing rooms in an evacuation can be due to poor communication, potentially causing injury or even death if a person was missed or left behind in an emergency.

    Buildings can contain both active and passive forms of fire control. Active fire protection can be a fire extinguisher or a sprinkler system and passive fire protection is a set of systems that keep the fire from spreading and provide time for escape such as fire walls, doors and exit signs.

    Current practices of evacuating rooms varies from organisation to organisation. Most attempts at minimizing this risk relies on retrieving the tools required and managing the evacuation processes simultaneously.

    This has a high risk of error and inherently less efficient than having a fixed, permanent form of communication in the location it is required. The EvacFlag™ is usable in both fire and bomb threats, adaptable to both scenarios  as it can be used on doors that slide, are open or closed or even mark entire zoned areas.

    The function of an efficient and accurate evacuation is of greater importance than later relying on a physical head count of those evacuated, and yet it the most overlooked, adhoc practice in an emergency evacuation.

    The simple solution is the EvacFlag™ for Smarter, Quicker and Safer evacuations.

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    Communication

     

    By the end of the evacuation each room should have a flag actively showing.

    At the completion of the evacuation or the practice drill, the EvacFlag™ is simply closed shut ready to use time and time again.

    The EvacFlag™ does not stop re-entry to a room, however it does streamline a current chaotic process.

    The EvacFlag™ enables staff responsible for the evacuation to have a systematic, efficient and accountable form of communication in an emergency.

    Staff involved in the evacuation can have peace of mind they followed best practice and did the best they could in a crisis.

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