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Evaluation criteria for evacuation safety

The evacuation safety evaluation is done based on the hardest possible situation concerning the rescue operations. This refers to a situation where the number of staff and their operational preparedness are at their lowest and the number of patients/residents is the highest possible and their functional capabilities are the lowest.

The starting point for evaluating evacuation safety is a fire or some other sudden hazardous situation in the premises which requires a quick exit from the premises.

The evaluation for evacuation safety is done by comparing the time available for safe evacuation and the actual duration of the evacuation and rescue operations. A sufficient evacuation safety requires that the patients/residents are able to evacuate, or that the personnel can help to evacuate them, within the time available for safe evacuation.

Time available for safe evacuation

The time between a fire breaking out and the time when the conditions in the premises become life-threatening and evacuation is no longer possible. Usually, the first restriction on the available time is the smoke caused by the fire and its spreading into the premises. A fire breaking out in a restricted space becomes life-threatening within a few minutes. The estimated approximate time to exit a fire compartment after a fire breaks out is three (3) minutes. The time to exit the surrounding fire compartments is defined by the fire-engineering classification. The time available for a safe evacuation is based on the fire compartments of the premises and their fire technical protective classification (e.g. extinguishing equipment).
An automatic extinguishing system may increase the time available for safe evacuation and/or prevent the conditions from becoming life-threatening.

Duration of evacuation and rescue operations

The time from a fire breaking out to a situation where all persons have exited or have been evacuated from the premises, where the fire broke out. The time used for evacuation and rescue operations includes the time used for observing the fire, raising the alarm and evacuation and rescue operations performed by the personnel.
The duration of evacuation and rescue operations is dependent on the following factors, among others:
• the number and functional capabilities of the residents/patients
• the swiftness of observing the fire and raising the alarm
• available emergency routes and exits
• the number of personnel present and their capability of rescue operations
• the devises and arrangements facilitating evacuation/rescue operations (for example, rescue sheets and movable beds)
An example of the time available for safe evacuation:
(in this example, the default is that the premises are divided into room-specific fire compartments and the fire breaks out in a room)

in this example, the default is that the premises are divided into room-specific fire compartments and the fire breaks out in a room

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