To protect people from fire and other emergencies and to prevent property loss, whether large or small, high-rise buildings establish Emergency Preparedness Plans and Emergency Evacuation Plans.
The essential components of a fire Emergency Preparedness Plan are the following:
- A fire prevention plan, which describes what to do to prevent a fire from occurring
- An emergency action plan, which details what to do when a fire occurs
- And Emergency Evacuating Plan. The Emergency Evacuation Plan should indicate the types of evacuation scenarios and what tenants are to follow during an emergency.
These types have to be properly indicated and rehearsed with a distinct signal for each of the following:
- Evacuate the building to safe area
- Evacuate specific area
- Evacuate all tenants from entire building
Evacuation for People with Disabilities - The NFPA Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities was developed in response to the emphasis that has been placed on the need to properly address the emergency procedure needs of the disability community.
While building codes in have continuously improved, containing requirements that reduce damage and injury to people and property by addressing fire sprinklers, fire-resistant construction materials, and structural stability, equally important issues such as energy efficiency, protection of heritage buildings, and accessibility are relatively recent subjects that NFPA has begun to address in codes.
Many newer buildings are constructed as “accessible” or “barrier free” to allow people with disabilities ready access. Equally important is how building occupants with a variety of disabilities are notified of a building emergency, how they respond to a potentially catastrophic event, whether or not appropriate features or systems are provided to assist them during an emergency, and what planning and operational strategies are in place to help ensure “equal egress” during an emergency.
NFPA developed codes, and specifications for Multi-Story External Evacuation Platforms Rescue Systems as supplementary escape devices that when available, should be integrated in the Emergency Evacuation Plan (see; “NFPA Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities” and, “Building Construction and Safety Code NFPA 500 – Annex E – Supplement Evacuation Equipment”).
In the UK, in 2007, the British Government published a supplementary guide to the Fire Safety Assessment series. It providesinformation on accessibility and means of escape for disable people. “Public bodies have an additional duty, called the Disability Equality Duty (DED), which from December 2006 requires them to proactively promote the equality of disabled people. This will require them to do even more to ensure that disabled people do not face discrimination by not being provided with a safe evacuation plan from a building”.