Coffee Break Bulletin

How to create a simple building evacuation diagram

Posted: May 24, 2017

This bulletin provides information for codes officials on how to create a simple building evacuation diagram.

drawing an evacuation diagram

In addition to exit signs that guide people to safety, some buildings — like hotels, hospitals, nursing homes and high-rise buildings — are required to post an evacuation diagram. These diagrams are critical to the safe evacuation of people during an emergency.

However, there is no fire or building code standard for building evacuation diagrams: what they must contain, where they are located, what language(s) they must use, or any other item that may go on a diagram.

That’s why it’s important for codes officials to create their own policies for diagrams that help building managers evacuate people.

Sample evacuation diagram

evacuation diagram

Sample evacuation diagram

Touch or click to view/download

evacuation diagram

General guidelines for building evacuation diagrams

What to include in a diagram

Other diagram items to consider

Action steps for better building evacuation diagrams

  1. Create or review policies that address and standardize building evacuation diagrams.
  2. Gather examples of best practices for diagrams that you can share with building managers.
  3. Review building evacuation diagrams when you conduct codes inspections.

More information about evacuation diagrams

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