The High-Rise Building Safety Advisory Committee has recently completed and published a new document related to developing emergency action plans for high rise office buildings. The management of building occupants within high-rise buildings is a critical concern during emergencies. While procedures for fire evacuation have been developed and adopted by major fire and emergency services throughout North America, there remains considerable variation in practice in the field. This guide can be used to develop emergency action plans that are required by many occupancies in other NFPA codes such and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code®.
With the increased recognition of the need to prepare and respond to non-fire threats such as extreme weather, workplace violence, and utility disruptions in the high-rise environment, the traditional building fire safety plan and organization are a logical starting point. In fact, the document recommends that a single, integrated plan and preparedness and response organization be utilized to assist building management and emergency responders in an all-hazard approach to building emergencies. The Committee recognizes that while there is a considerable body of practice in this area, research into and evaluation of these methods and policies are limited. This document is an attempt to fill that void and to inspire AHJs and building management to embrace the challenge.
The guide addresses the development of the emergency action plan, the roles and responsibilities of those executing, training, and participating in the plan, evacuation strategies, response to all-hazard emergencies, training and education, tabletop exercises, and procedures for reviewing and updating an existing emergency action plan.
The document is available to download, for free, at NFPA’s high-rise building safety page.