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Emergency Evacuation

Elements of Emergency Plans 

Policies Outlining Who, What, When
  • Who does what, when do they do it.
  • Procedure to report an emergency.
  • Activating an emergency plan.
  • Procedure for alerting staff.
  • Ordering an evacuation.
Floor Plan(s) Clearly Posted Throughout Building 
  • Evacuation routes and alternate means of escape
  • Designated “Safe Areas”
  • Fire alarm pull stations
  • Fire extinguishers
  • First aid areas
Staff Duties and Responsibilities 
  • Emergency coordinator
  • Chain of command
  • Alternative communication center
  • Address who will assist disabled workers
  • A system for accounting for personnel and non-personnel following an evacuation
  • Identify who is trained and willing to deal with casualties
Instructions for Different Types of Emergencies
  • Fire
  • Earthquakes
  • Explosion
  • Bomb threats
  • Chemical spill
  • Workplace violence
  • Utility Failure
  • Medical emergency
  • Triage
Current Records of Emergency Contacts
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • Emergency dispatch
  • Hospitals
  • Utility companies
  • Government agencies
  • Alarm company
  • Sprinkler company
  • Any other responsible parties
  • Updated list of employee emergency contact information
  • Documentation of drills

Ongoing Staff Training 

Purpose of Emergency Plan
  • To prevent fatalities and injuries
  • To reduce damage to buildings and contents
  • To accelerate the resumption of normal operations
Purpose of Fire Drills
  • To be ready should an occurrence happen, increasing the chanced of survival. A disorganized evacuation can lead to confusion, injury, death and property damage.
  • To make people familiar with their surroundings
  • In case of fire, think “RACE”:
    • Rescue all persons in immediate area
    • Alarm: announce the fire- Pull alarm and dial 911
    • Confine the fire by closing doors
    • Extinguish the fire if possible
Emergency Egress and Relocation Drills
  • Shall be held with sufficient frequency to familiarize occupants with the drill procedure and to establish conduct of the drill as a matter of routine.
  • Planning and conduct of drills shall be assigned only to competent persons.
  • To be held at expected and unexpected times and under varying conditions.
  • Drill participants shall relocate to a predetermined location and remain at such until a recall or dismissal signal is given.
Fire Protection Systems (Alarms and Sprinklers)
  • Train employees how your particular system works
    Normally one or two sprinklers will discharge, not the whole system
  • Smoke alarms detect smoke, sprinklers are set off by heat
  • Smoke alarms systems are early warning devices, allowing precious time to evacuate
Fire Extinguishers
  • Decision
  • Only use if the fire is small and contained, and not spreading beyond its starting point
  • Do not waste time in trying to fight the fire if the fire might block your only way out
  • Proper extinguisher use, think “PASS”:
    • Pull trigger pin (Stand back several feet away from fire)
    • Aim low, point the nozzle at the base of the fire
    • Squeeze trigger
    • Sweep from side to side until the fire appears to be out
Medical Procedures
  • First aid, CPR, etc.
Safety Equipment
  • First aid kits, hardhats, goggles, eye washing facilities, breathing apparatus, etc.

Prevention Safety Checks 

  • Exit doors shall be readily distinguishable from the adjacent construction and shall be easily recognizable as exit doors.
  • Egress routes must be clear and unobstructed.
  • Exit doors shall be openable from the inside without the use of a key or any special knowledge or effort. Exit doors shall not be locked, chained, bolted, barred, latched, or otherwise rendered unusable. All locking devices shall be of an approved type, excluding exceptions in UFC 1207.3.
  • Combustible materials shall not be stored in exits or exit enclosures.
  • Buildings and rooms within a building shall not exceed the maximum occupant load.
Safe Electrical Components
  • Extension cords shall not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring.
  • Extension cords to be used only with portable appliances.
  • Extension cords shall be plugged directly into an approved receptacle, power tap or multiplug adapter and shall, except for approved multiplug extension cords, serve only one portable appliance.
    The ampacity of extension cords shall not be less than the rated capacity of the portable appliance supplied by the cord.
  • Extension cords shall be maintained in good condition without splices, deterioration or damage.
    Extension cords shall be grounded when serving grounded portable appliances.
  • Extension cords shall not be affixed to structures; extend through walls, ceilings, floors, under doors or floor coverings; or be subject to environmental or physical damage.
  • Temporary wiring is allowed for a period not to exceed 90 days.
  • A clear and unobstructed means of access with a minimum width of 30” and a minimum height of 78” shall be maintained from the operating face of the switchboard or panel board to an isle or corridor, excluding exceptions.
  • Circuits or outlets should not be overloaded. It is recommended to use a power strip with an overload circuit breaker where several cords need to be plugged into an outlet.
  • Defective circuit breakers need to be repaired.
  • Electric motors shall be maintained in a manner from accumulation of oil, dirt, waste and other debris, which will interfere with required motor ventilation or create a fire hazard.
  • The proper clearances between heating appliances and combustibles must be maintained.
  • Portable heaters, if used, should be equipped with a high temperature device and a tip-over switch. At least 3’ should be maintained between space heaters and anything that can burn.
Open Flames/Smoking
  • If smoking is allowed, designate a smoking area free of and away from combustible and flammable materials.
  • Lighted matches, cigarettes, cigars, or other burning objects shall not be discarded in such a manner that could cause ignition of other combustible materials.
Combustible Storage
  • Combustible materials shall not be stored in boiler, mechanical or electrical equipment rooms.
  • Outside storage of combustible materials shall not be located within 10’ of property lines, excluding exceptions.
  • Combustible materials shall not be stored beneath a building or structure.
  • Storage shall be maintained 2’ or more below the ceiling in non-sprinklered areas of buildings, 18” or more below sprinkler head deflectors in sprinkler areas of buildings.
  • Rubbish containers over 5 1/3 cubic feet (40 gallons) shall be provided with lids and be noncombustible.
  • Dumpsters 1.5 cubic yards or more shall not be stored in buildings or placed within 5’ of combustible walls, openings or combustible roof eave lines, excluding exceptions.
Flammable Liquids
  • Quantities of flammable and combustible liquids in excess of 10 gallons used for maintenance purposes and the operation of equipment shall be stored in liquid storage cabinets.
  • Class I flammable liquids shall not be stored in basements.
  • Fire Department access is required.
  • Approved numbers or addresses are required.
  • Combustible materials shall not be stored in boiler, mechanical or electrical equipment rooms.
  • Recyclable paper and plastic materials shall be stored in noncombustible or acceptable containers away from exits, exit corridors, and stairways and shall not be allowed to accumulate excessively (See UFC 1114).
  • Oily rags or similar materials shall be stored in metal, metal lined or other approved containers equipped with tight-fitting covers.
  • Clearance between ignition sources, such as light fixtures, heaters, and flame producing devices, and combustible storage shall be maintained in an approved manner.
  • Landscaping should not pose a fire hazard to the structure.
  • A 3-foot clear space shall be maintained around the circumference of fire hydrants.
Fire Extinguishers
  • Minimum Type 2A10B:C fire extinguisher(s) are required for low hazard occupancies, with a maximum 75’ travel distance from anywhere in the building to an extinguisher.
  • Portable fire extinguishers shall be located in plain view, in an accessible spot, near room exits that provide an escape route.
  • Mounting of fire extinguishers is required, excluding wheeled type. The top of extinguishers must be mounted a maximum of 5’ high if it weighs less than 40 lbs., or a maximum of 3 ˝' high if it weighs more than 40 lbs. The bottom of extinguishers must be a minimum of 4” above the ground.


Fire Alarm System
  • Required: Annual inspection, testing and maintenance by a qualified alarm company
  • Monthly visual check recommended
Fire Sprinkler System
  • Required: Annual inspection, testing and maintenance by a qualified alarm company
  • Monthly visual check recommended
Fire Extinguishers
  • Required: Extinguishers shall be serviced annually, have a service tag attached, and be maintained in proper working condition. In addition, extinguishers require a 6-year service collar on extinguishers that require a 12-year hydro test.
  • Monthly visual check recommended.
Smoke Control Systems
  • Required: Quarterly tests to ensure proper operation.
Exit Lights
  • Check continually and repair as necessary.
Emergency Lighting
  • Check batteries annually.
Commercial Kitchen Hood Suppression System
  • Required: inspection, testing and maintenance by qualified company every 6 months.
  • Fusible links to be replaced annually
  • Must be UL-300 system to put out fires from newer hotter burning cooking oils (vegetable oils, etc.)
  • A Type K extinguisher shall be installed within 30’ of commercial food heat-producing equipment.
This information addresses common safety items and is not intended to cover all occupancies and issues.  Sources: Uniform Fire Code, NFPA, OSHA, and Numerous Business Emergency Plans.

Additional Department Information

Fire and Life Safety Department Contacts

Medford Fire-Rescue Fire & Life Safety Division
200 South Ivy Street, Room #180
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 774-2300
Fax: (541) 774-2514
Contact: Acting Fire Marshal Chase Browning
Hours: Mon - Fri, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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