There are at least two fire escapes on every floor. If a fire escape is located inside an office space - and there are two or more tenants on a floor - the access door to the escape route must be fitted with an automatic door release mechanism. When a fire is detected on a floor this mechanism will unlock the door to escape route for neighboring tenants on the same floor.
If there is only one tenant on a floor in towers A, B, C, D, F and G all fire escapes are located inside the office space. It is not mandatory for these tenants to install an automatic door release mechanism on the front door. Please be aware that in these cases people in the lift area or in the toilets on that floor don’t have direct access to the escape routes. See point 7.2 for checking common areas on a floor.
Check common areas
During an evacuation the tenant’s in-house emergency response officer should always check the common areas on their floor such as toilets, lift lobbies and corridors for:
People not responding to the alarm signal
People who do not have direct access to the emergency stairwells.
Use of stairwells
Tenants evacuating their floor should keep to the right of the stairs to allow building personnel and firefighters to pass on the left hand side. Walk at a normal pace and hold onto the handrail as you proceed down the stairs. Remain focused, do not bring any beverages or use your mobile phone unless it is an emergency. Leave any heavy or bulky items behind. If you are wearing high heeled shoes, remove them so they do not hinder your ability to leave the building safely.
During the evacuation procedure, tenants from other floors will also enter the stairwells. Allow them to merge into the flow but do not stop as this will delay the evacuation from the floor above. Tenants should proceed down the stairs and gather at their company’s designated assembly area. For safety reasons it is not allowed to wait near building exits. It can be difficult to walk down the stairs, so remember to pace yourself, and if you feel tired or ill, do not be afraid to stop on a landing for a few minutes. If someone falls or is taken ill during an evacuation, call the WTC Security emergency hotline at +31 (20) 575 3333.
Because of its size and the large amount of tenants, World Trade Center Amsterdam does not have a common designated assembly area. Every tenant in World Trade Center Amsterdam is responsible for defining their own assembly area. See below the suggested assembly area locations for each tower.
Requirements assembly area
The main goal of an evacuation is to facilitate the safe exit of occupants from the building and to bring them to a more secure location referred to as the assembly area. Without this pre-planned destination at the end of the evacuation, chaos, panic, and more threats can ensue. It could potentially put people back into harm’s way or worst, hinder emergency response operations. Take note that not all places around World Trade Center Amsterdam are deemed to be a safe venue for evacuees to occupy during an emergency procedure.
In picking an assembly area, you must consider its distance from the emergency exits from your location in World Trade Center Amsterdam. The venue should not be too close to the building, but not too far for walking either. It should be accessible and as close to the boundary of the evacuation area as possible. The destination must also be easily identifiable to avoid evacuees from getting lost. It should make entry easier for the emergency response team.
The assembly area is where the tenant’s in-house emergency response team can conduct the headcount of their own staff and visitors. Basic first aid treatments can also be done there. Hence, the venue must be spacious enough to accommodate staff, visitors and members of the tenant’s in-house emergency response team.
Safety is one of the most important emergency assembly area requirements to fulfil. Assess whether the venue is safe for evacuees. Not only that, but you must also ensure that the path to the assembly area does not pose further threat or risk to people. Are there obstacles along the way? Are the evacuees going to cross a high traffic road to reach the assembly point? How about the facilities surrounding the assembly area? Are they going to be a threat to the evacuees? Should the venue be an open space?
Tenants are required to create an accountability process that is used at their own assembly area to account for their own staff. This can be done by creating a call tree or by using an emergency notification service so that all staff can be accounted for. It is also valuable to have a toll-free emergency number where status can be left and staff can leave messages.
Persons requiring assistance
When the evacuation alarm sounds, any person who is unable to evacuate should go to the nearest stairwell and wait on the landing. Remember, the stairs are the safest place to be. The tenant’s in-house emergency response officer should report the location of any person requiring assistance by calling the WTC Security emergency hotline at +31 (0)20 575 3333, or going to the WTC Security command center located in tower C, floor 1. The fire department will assess the situation and determine if the person requiring assistance needs to be evacuated from their floor.
If possible and allowed by emergency services the property management office will keep a skeleton crew available to maintain safety systems of the building after a full or partial evacuation.