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If you have recently found a new office for your business thanks to Austin Tenant Advisors then you will want to make sure that you know what to do in an emergency situation, should one occur in your new space. For those who work in commercial real estate, an emergency action plan (EAP) is essentially your “playbook” during a crisis. Like a coach supervising a football squad: it’s your responsibility to direct your tenants to succeed in different scenarios. When it comes to incident management, your EAP will help guide you through, especially if it’s been regularly tested by exercises such as scheduled fire drills.

Preparis hosted a webinar “Evacuating an Office Building” to help property managers review best practices for preparing their tenants. This session was hosted by our special guest Fire Inspector Doug Brown, who has more than 40 years of life safety experience. Brown conducted countless threat assessments on buildings and supported properties during their regular fire drills, and during real emergencies. He discussed the steps property managers should follow to ensure their tenants are trained to respond when you have to “dump the building”. Here are a few things we learned during the webinar.

– If there are tenants on your floor with disabilities who require a “buddy” for evacuating, make sure they have a backup buddy. There’s a chance the designated buddy may not be there during an evacuation, and someone may be left behind or stranded.

– When practicing evacuations, make sure to run through multiple scenarios. Test using different routes and make tenants walk both the stairwells leading to their floor. In a real emergency, your first evacuation route may be blocked, so it’s critical to know your second option.

– Don’t use parking decks as an evacuation assembly area. If there’s a bomb threat or explosion, there could be a secondary device waiting in a parked car. It’s a similar situation for active shooters: a gunman could be hiding in the deck. Stay in open spaces at least 600 feet from the building.

– We surveyed our attendees with a few questions to find out more about their current life safety plans. When asked, “How often does your building practice an evacuation?” more than 50% of the audience responded with “Annually”, with 30% citing “Semi-Annually” or twice a year.

– As a follow-up question, we asked: “If there was a crisis, what’s your level of confidence that your staff/tenants would successfully perform an evacuation?” more than half of the respondents said either “Confident” or “Very Confident” while 30% said either “Somewhat Confident” or “We’d have a problem”.

Please click the link below to replay the webinar plus register for our upcoming webinar 6 Ways to Improve Your Buildings Emergency Action Plan (and Decrease Your Liability). For more information, contact Preparis directly or give us a call at 404.662.2950. Also, follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates on industry news and events.

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