Fire Evacuation Mistakes


Fire Evacuation Mistakes

Common mistakes during a fire evacuation

Emergencies can occur at any moment, and when they do, you must be able to get out safely. Things don’t always go as planned, and additional threats and crises may complicate the evacuation plan. 

When this occurs, you must remain focused in order to meet additional challenges that may arise. During any emergency evacuation, you should be aware of the most common mistakes people make during a fire evacuation.

Using Elevators

Never use a lift to evacuate during an earthquake or a fire unless the lift has been approved as a suitable option for evacuation. If you hear alarms in the elevator, do not enter. Electrical systems in a building may short out as a result of a fire, trapping everyone in the elevator. Other issues might arise as a result, such as smoke in the lift shaft obstructing your ability to breathe, or the fire spreading to other levels and engulfing the lift.

When lifts travel up and down the shaft, air billows, forcing air about the structure and perhaps creating further damage by hastening the spread of the fire. Always use the emergency stairs to safely escape the building premises if you need to evacuate. It’s possible that certain stairwells will be pressurized to keep you safe until help arrives. You should be familiar with the structure. Confirm with your building manager.


Underestimating the danger

Don’t be lulled into complacency because you’ve heard the alarms go off before only to find out they were false. When you underestimate the danger, you’re more inclined to remain there and make no attempt to escape.

You’re not just putting yourself in danger by ignoring the alarm, but you also put other individuals in danger who are waiting for you to take the lead. Risk to other people’s lives, including those of emergency personnel, can be avoided during any kind of rescue by following a few basic tips, more on that in a bit.

Ignoring protocols.

Ignoring protocols is one of the most common mistakes people make during an evacuation. People have put their lives at risk time and time again by failing to follow the directions provided to them by authorities. If you’re instructed to evacuate, make sure you follow the fire safety evacuation plans.

Don’t ignore Fire Safety Equipment and Evacuation Diagrams, since these will assist you in safely evacuating the premises. Avoid reentering the building until the situation has been resolved and you have received permission from the emergency services. 

My Fire Safety can provide fire and evacuation training, as well as the drafting of evacuation plans and diagrams, to keep you and your team safe in the event of an emergency. Get professional advice on evacuation preparation by contacting our experts now.

Not dialing 999

No matter how well-trained you are in dealing with a situation, you should never hesitate to call 999. In an emergency, don’t call your local fire station or fire safety team. Dial 999 and speak with a control room operator – only from there can emergency services be deployed. Don’t take it for granted that someone else has dialed 999. Make the call if you see an emergency.

Emergency personnel are not only trained but also prepared to deal with a variety of emergency situations. You should phone 999 right once and be prepared to give firemen the number of persons who may be trapped as well as the location.


When confronted with a dangerous situation, one of the first reactions is panic. It’s easy to spread fear when you show signs of it. Panic makes you lose your senses and makes you make stupid decisions. It may be tough for you to keep your cool and do your responsibilities effectively as a result of this.

Although maintaining your composure in an emergency is tough, there are several strategies you may use to prevent being distracted by the chaos. When it comes to evacuating, preparation ahead of time is a great way to keep your cool. See our Fire Evacuation Checklist.

When you know what to do, you may think more calmly and let what you’ve been taught and practiced to take hold. By stopping for a second, you may also take a breath and picture your next action. This will help you to assess the situation and respond to the problem in a calm manner.


Tips on planning a safe evacuation

Point of Gathering (rendezvous/assembly point)

A secure meeting location for all employees to gather and be counted in one location that is far enough away from the building to be considered safe and secure. At the assembly location, a Responsible Person should be collecting a headcount and providing updates.

Routes should be planned and mapped out

Primary and secondary escape routes are included in a solid fire evacuation plan for your company. All escape routes should be well marked with signage

Regular Practice

Regular rehearsals reduce misunderstanding by repeating how the fire drill should be conducted. Employees who are calm and know what to do in the case of a fire are more likely to have a safe result.

Make Sure You’re Up to Date on Fire Safety Provisions

Regularly make sure your personnel are aware of where the fire safety measures are located such as fire extinguishers, fire alarms, emergency lights, fire doors, and fire signs, are located.


There should be the appropriate number of emergency exits to accommodate the number of people in the building, allowing for a quick departure.

Passageways and escape routes

Escape routes that are clearly designated and clear of obstacles, allowing for the fastest and most direct evacuation from the building.


Adequate emergency lighting in the event that the power has to be turned off, to assist people in exiting the building.

Fire escape doors

Emergency doors that work well and open effortlessly for a speedy escape

Special Requirements

Make sure to account for any specific requirements, such as handicapped personnel or anyone who may need help to evacuate using fire safety equipment such as an evacuation chair. See Evacuation Chair Training.

Roles and responsibilities.

There are several significant things to keep in mind while allocating responsibilities. You want to be sure your fire response team is dependable, present, and capable of responding immediately in an emergency.

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