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Do you know the Emergency Codes?

Do you know the Emergency Codes?

In a healthcare setting, we may need to evacuate a facility, or part thereof, following a Code Red (fire), Code Brown (hazardous spill), Code Black (bomb threat), Code Grey (air exclusion or system failure), or disaster situation such as a major flood or earthquake.
Only in very rare cases is a Code Green called for an entire building or facility; in most situations, only the affected part of the facility will be evacuated.  There are two main types of evacuation:

  • Primary/horizontal evacuation involves moving occupants to the nearest safe area beyond a set, or two, of fire doors.  In most cases, this will suffice
  • Secondary/vertical evacuation involves moving occupants down a staircase.  Elevators may be used for some evacuations, but never during evacuation for Code Red.

Rule of thumb: first move horizontally; only move vertically when it is unsafe to remain on your current floor.

In which order should people be evacuated?

Those who are in immediate danger;
Those who are ambulatory (ie. they can get themselves out without any assistance);
Those  who require some level of assistance;
Those who are non-ambulatory (ie. they require the most help to get out).

What should you do when you hear Code Green called for another part of the facility?  Return immediately to your usual work area.  Depending on the situation, you may be asked to go assist with the evacuation.