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Managing Your Means Of Escape

Managing Your Means Of Escape

You are familiar with the emergency exit route and have no problem escaping to safety, but, what if you were working in a large office block in a new job and you are not familiar with the exit strategy. When you do go to escape, smoke is logging in one direction and spreading fast because fire doors were propped open earlier in the day. In the other direction you have to negotiate some old desk furniture dumped in the corridor.

The recent documentary shown on national television about those trapped in the Twin Towers reveals a terrifying reality of what it must be like to actually be trapped. Some we were told jumped, knowing that would lead to certain death, must have felt like a better option than to suffer the consequences of a fire and smoke fatality.

Both these examples, the first imaginary, the second a reality, are the worst nightmares for all of us who work in office environments. That is why we must manage our escape routes with the utmost diligence, and not fall into the psychological fantasy that says it will never happen to me.

Here are 5 key points to remember on a day to day basis:


Fire doors play a critical role in preventing fire and smoke from spreading. They are designed to hold both back for a set period of time allowing you to escape to safety. Leaving them open is risking yours and others? lives. FIRE DOOR KEEP SHUT means what it says!


Fires travel fast, they wait for no one, they don?t let you through. Fires destroy and kill! If a fire were to occur in your building you need to do three things:

1. Activate the fire alarm
2. Call the fire brigade
3. Get out!

Corridors fill with smoke within seconds in a fire, mains power can be lost and the building you use everyday suddenly becomes a very unfamiliar place. Clear and un-blocked escape corridors are a life saving component to your overall safety. Keep them clear at all times!


Walk through your nearest escape route from your work place. If there are two options walk them both once a week. Check that there are fire safety signs guiding you out to safety at every juncture – you may need them!


Getting to the final exit and discovering that it is blocked from the outside would be terrifying. These doors should have a large sign on the outside Fire Exit Keep Clear”. Make sure they are clear and especially, that no cars are parked directly outside.