Different Types of Emergencies That Require Evacuation

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There are times when it will be unsafe to sit in your residential or workplace building and go through your regular tasks. You will need to drop what you’re doing and evacuate the premises as soon as possible.

What types of emergencies require evacuations? Fires, gas leaks, threats of violence and natural disasters can all require occupants to partially or fully evacuate the premises. Find out how your building can plan for these types of emergency evacuations and why you should have the Evacuscape escape chair in these plans.

Why Do You Need the Evacuscape Chair?

Evacuation is easier for some occupants than others. Occupants with mobility issues, like seniors, people with disabilities and pregnant women, might not be able to follow instructions and head to the exits quickly and carefully. Many of them depend on features like stairlifts and elevators to move throughout multi-storey buildings — these features are often inaccessible or unsafe in times of emergency.

This is where a tool like the Evacuscape escape chair can come to the rescue. The Evacuscape chair can keep vulnerable people safe during an emergency and help them evacuate the premises promptly. As long as there is an Evacuscape chair in the building’s stairwell, you can remove it, set it up and bring it to the vulnerable person. Once the person is secured to the chair, you can bring them down the exit stairwell and move to a safe location.

Evacuating a building safely in case of fire

What Types of Emergencies Require Evacuation?


A fire is an emergency that requires immediate evacuation. Occupants will want to leave the premises as quickly as possible so that they can avoid coming into contact with the fire or inhaling smoke.

How can buildings prepare for fire evacuations?

  • Have smoke detectors with full batteries ready to send the alarm at the first sign of smoke.
  • Have multiple, clearly marked fire exits that occupants can use to escape the building quickly.
  • Have fire alarms that can be pulled by occupants that notice signs of fire.
  • Have the proper fire safety tools on hand. Fire extinguishers should be placed on every floor, and Evacuscape chairs should be placed at the tops of stairwells.

Finally, practice emergency evacuation drills so that everyone is ready for the moment that real danger arrives. In these drills, you will want to inform occupants about important details like the different stages of evacuation and the safest ways to exit the building. You should also establish a location outside the building where you can all gather and do a headcount to make sure that no one is missing.

Evacuating a building during a gas leak

Gas Leak

A gas leak is another emergency that requires a quick and careful evacuation. Why? High levels of natural gas can be hazardous to your health. If you breathe too much of it, you can get sick, fall unconscious or die. When there is a gas leak, all occupants should leave the tainted environment and move into a safe space with fresh air immediately.

Natural gas is also extremely flammable. If it’s ignited, it could cause a large fire or explosion. Occupants will want to leave the premises as quickly as possible without doing anything that could cause a spark, like lighting a cigarette or turning light switches on.

What can a building do to prepare for gas leaks?

  • Have windows and doors that can be opened to allow for ventilation.
  • Know where the gas shut-off supply valve is located.
  • Keep combustible materials away from gas appliances.
  • Have Evacuscape chairs ready at the top of staircases for occupants who need help leaving the building.


Small or moderate earthquakes pose no immediate risk to building occupants. You may notice the ground quivers and some objects rattle, but the incident will pass in a matter of seconds. Large magnitude earthquakes are riskier.

Occupants shouldn’t evacuate a building in the midst of a large magnitude earthquake. They should try to move under desks or tables and protect their heads. Ideally, they will do this in rooms with no windows or objects that can fall on them.

Once the earthquake is over, occupants should carefully evacuate so that the building can be inspected for any structural damages that make it unsafe.


Flooding from plumbing trouble like burst pipes is an emergency that can require evacuation. Occupants will want to move out of the building to an area that is safe and dry until the situation is resolved.

There are other types of flooding that shouldn’t result in an immediate evacuation. In the case of flash flooding, it might not be safe to evacuate the building since the surroundings can be dangerous. You will want to move to higher ground unless authorities direct you to do otherwise.

Responding to a potential threat of violence


Unfortunately, another emergency that buildings need to prepare for is an individual or group of people threatening acts of violence against one or more occupants.

The response to this type of emergency depends on the proximity and seriousness of the threat. So, if the perpetrator is on a different floor of the building, some occupants may quickly evacuate the premises and move to a safer location. If the perpetrator is nearby, occupants should try to move to a secure location inside the building, bar themselves inside and call the authorities.

How can buildings prepare for this type of emergency?

  • Post security guards at the main entrance. They can assess unsafe visitors and prevent them from entering the building.
  • Have passcodes or keycards that allow occupants to enter the building freely. Visitors without these will need permission to gain access to the building.
  • Have interior locations that you can move to when a threat is indoors, and it’s unsafe to exit the building. This should be a room that can be barred from the inside.
  • Have a set evacuation plan and Evacuscape chairs at the top of stairwells.

More Emergencies That Need Evacuations

These aren’t the only types of emergencies that can require partial or full evacuations. There are plenty of other examples:

  • Power outages
  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Explosions
  • Viral outbreaks
  • Nearby building fires
  • Approaching wildfires

Preparation is key. With the help of Evacuscape, your building will be ready to help every single occupant evacuate. Everyone will have the chance to get through the emergency safely.

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