High Rise Office Building Evacuation Plans

Plan Implementation

1. Floor Plan

The building management should develop a floor plan which will be posted in key locations throughout each floor. Additionally, each employee will be given the name of their Floor Leader to be kept in his/her assigned work area. Copies of Evacuation/Emergency Procedures and the location of physically disabled personnel will be posted at each work station and at the lobby desk.

2. Orientation

Every employee and tenant will be orientated in the emergency procedure for the building and will be required to participate in any drills.

3. In The Event Of A Fire

In the event of a fire in a high-rise office building, only 8 floors will be evacuated: the fire floor, three floors above and four floors below the fire. If the building has an outside fire escape, it should be used only as an alternative means of escape.


Floor Warden/Assistant Floor Warden

Description of Responsibilities

The Floor Warden is responsible for emergency coordination and reporting of any potential or actual emergency condition to the Building Management. The Floor Warden is also responsible for organizing his/her emergency team members and making sure emergency procedures are carried out correctly.


Appoints personnel to the emergency team and fills vacant positions.

Maintains an updated roster of all Floor Leaders, Searchers, Stairwell Monitors, Elevator Monitors, Handicapped Aides and alternates.

Alerts key personnel (Asst. Floor Warden, Floor Leader, etc.) of potential emergencies.

Supervises the activity and training of all key emergency team members. Ensures that all emergency team personnel know their assigned duties and locations in case of an emergency.

Is responsible for informing and training key emergency personnel and all floor personnel in emergency procedures. Pre-plans the handling of physically disabled personnel during evacuation.

Is responsible for the evacuation of floor personnel. Is responsible for notifying the Elevator Monitor to evacuate.

The Assistant Floor Warden will assist the Area Warden in all areas of responsibility and assume the leadership role in his/her absence.

Floor Leader

Description of Responsibilities

Operating under the supervision of the Floor Warden, the Floor Leader is responsible for the control of people in his/her area. He/She is responsible for the safe evacuation of personnel in his/her work area during an emergency.


Supervises assembly of personnel in his/her work area.

Is responsible for orderly evacuation of all personnel in his/her area via designated exits.

Remains with the group throughout the evacuation period and leads them to predetermined safe areas.

Assists in training of all personnel in his/her work area.



Description of Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Floor Leader, Searchers are responsible for finding and evacuating all personnel from the floor, specifically from remote areas such as storerooms, file rooms, coffee areas, etc.


Checks all rooms including rest rooms, conference rooms, reception areas, and remote areas, closing but not locking all doors behind them.

Advises any remaining personnel on the floor of the emergency and insists on their evacuation.

Evacuates non-employees found on the floor.

Reports to Floor Leader when his/her area is clear.


Stairwell Monitor

Description of Responsibilities

Under the direction of the Floor Leader, Stairwell Monitors are responsible for an assigned exit and assist in the orderly evacuation of personnel.


Takes a position at his/her assigned exit and assists in the orderly evacuation of personnel. Inspects stairwells for possible heat or smoke conditions before evacuation. Instructs personnel to form single file lines into the stairwell and directs personnel to exit along the right side of the stairwell. Supervises and monitors evacuation flow while remaining calm and encouraging a calm and orderly evacuation. Stays at the exit until Searchers have cleared all personnel from the floor.


Elevator Monitor

Description of Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Floor Leader, Elevator Monitors are responsible for making sure no one uses the elevators.


Directs employees to the nearest stairway.

Must be familiar with the building evacuation plan and the location of all stairways.

Stays at his/her post until instructed to evacuate by the Floor Warden.


Handicapped Aide

Description of Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Floor Leader, the Handicapped Aide is responsible for making sure all physically disabled personnel are evacuated.


Maintains an up-to-date list of physically challenged employees on the floor.

If possible a "BUDDY SYSTEM" will be implemented in which one or two Handicapped Aides will be responsible for evacuating specific physically handicapped co-workers.


Employee Fact Sheet

In the event of an emergency, have a plan of action!

1. Call 911. Give the address, floor, and nature of emergency.

2. DO NOT use vanity addresses.

3. Call building management. Notify them of the emergency.

4. Know where fire extinguishers are located.

5. Know how to use fire extinguishers properly.

6. Know how to evacuate your work area.

7. Know all exits and where they lead to.

8. Never use the elevators to evacuate in a fire situation.


For further information contact:

Chicago Fire Department
Public Education Section

1010 South Clinton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607

312.747.6691/92 (voice)
312.747.3331 (fax)

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