How to run evacuation drills using visitor management tools

Leigh Roberts

Customer advocate & business process specialist

Businesses are required to prepare for evacuations and emergencies, including practicing and recording drills. Practicing is the best way to ensure that in a real emergency everyone will know what to do, and to do it safely.  Like anything, having the right digital tools for the job makes this so much easier – and importantly provides the opportunity to capture improvements and demonstrate compliance.

Whether you’ve adopted hybrid working, run a busy construction site with different contractors on-site each day, or operate a logistics warehouse, six monthly evacuation drills are part of ensuring everyone knows what to do and expect. When you use digital visitor management tools, like EVA Check-in, you’re one step closer to safer evacuations and drills as evacuation management functionality is built-in.

Here’s why:

  • Complete: When everyone is signed-in, including staff, visitors, and contractors – there is only one evacuation list to work from.
  • Multiple wardens: Paper logs hold evacuations back and are painfully slow to reconcile across several muster points. With digital tools, multiple wardens view the same information in real time.
  • Access to contact information: If someone hasn’t been accounted for, wardens have immediate access to their phone numbers (if it was asked for when signing in). Call or broadcast SMS to check on their whereabouts.
  • Extra assistance: Easily identify and prioritize anyone who needs extra help to evacuate
  • View emergency routes: Optionally visitors, staff, and contractors can access the emergency routes, muster points and key contacts via online information.
  • Works with existing strategies: Flexible digital solutions work alongside your existing safety strategies, rather than replace your existing safety plans.
  • Update first responders: Advise who remains unaccounted for and where they are likely to be.

So, where do you start when running drills with EVA Check-in? Here is how we approach it.

  1. Get prepared. Gather wardens around the kiosk when you’re ready to start. Unlock the kiosk and press start evacuation to commence the evacuation drill. Each warden scans the QR code it generates so that the evacuation log is live and updated in real time on all phones.
  2. Sound the alarm. If you want to give people a heads up before the drill starts then you can broadcast a pre-warning using EVA Check-in’s on-site alerts
  3. Clear the area. Wardens clear their areas and go to the muster points that they’re responsible for.
  4. Account for everyone. People approach the warden(s) as the muster points and get themselves marked off the register on the warden’s phone. It doesn’t matter which muster point, the software is updated in real-time, so there is always a clear status view.
  5. Gap review. Once everyone at the muster points has been cleared, the wardens check to see if anyone is unaccounted for. Wardens then broadcast SMS or phone the unaccounted-for individuals to confirm their whereabouts.
  6. End evacuation and record notes. When the evacuation is complete, mark it closed. Use the notes section to record any people that were allowed to keep working during the drill and any issues/areas for improvement.
  7. Report Compliance. Clearly demonstrate evidence of compliance when you get audited for health and safety compliance. Easily show the drills you've completed, how long they took, and numbers accounted for.

Working with digital evacuation tools gives you the best way to look after staff, visitors, and contractors. When these evacuation tools are integrated into your other essential business tools, like visitor management, it’ll be easier to run efficient and safe drills at any time you need.  

Why not take the time today to run an emergency drill and review your processes before a real emergency occurs?  Our free 14-day trial gives you access to all our expert emergency tools so you can see for yourself how EVA Check-in will help you meet your emergency safety requirements.

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