The word egress refers to the act of, or a path to, come out of an area. Having an egress from a building means that there is a way to exit it the building. This is an important topic when designing a workplace, planning safety procedures, or creating an emergency action plan (EAP). Understanding where an egress is, how people can most effectively get there in an emergency, and how to train people on this, is very important. It is also essential to have all egresses (both normal and emergency) clearly marked so they can be found without delay.
Most work facilities will have one or two places where people enter and exit on a regular basis. While that is sufficient for normal use, it is also important to look into emergency exit options. These are typically doors, windows, and other egress points where people can escape the building in the event of a fire or other emergency. There are a variety of different rules and regulations regarding how many egress points there needs to be, where they can be located, and other factors.
Emergency Exit Signs
All exits that can be used in an emergency should be identified with some type of signage that is visible even when there is no power. The most common example of this is the classic emergency exit sign, which is illuminated when it is dark. These signs should be powered by standard building electricity, and also a battery backup so it works even during a power outage. Signs should be above the exit itself, and in many situations, there should also be signs throughout a building pointing people in the direction of the nearest egress point.
All employees should be shown where the nearest egress point from their normal workplace is located. This will help to ensure they can safely exit the building in the event of an emergency situation. Of course, they should also be shown how to identify safety signs that point them in the direction of other egress points in case their main path is blocked. All efforts that can be made to ensure everyone in a facility knows how to get out will make it much safer.