Evacuation / Invacuation and Dynamic Lockdown Procedures

Now consider: The time is now, you are reading this article when your telephone rings, a staff member bursts into your office…‘Help, gunshots have been heard, people are screaming and running, smoke can be seen’…they look to you for leadership and ask: ‘What do we do?’

So, what do you do? What is the situation? What are your priorities? Where are the plans? Where are the key staff? How do you contact them? Have you rehearsed? You have the same amount of time to consider these vital questions as you have had to read this paragraph!

In response to the increased risk of firearm, weapon enabled and terrorist attacks in public spaces, business premises and educational establishments it is essential for public and private organisations to regularly review their security procedures, policies and physical security measures in relation to access and egress of their premises and the safety of their staff. This will ensure that your business, employees, visitors and assets are kept free from harm or significant disruption.

As part of your security policy it is important that your organisation has an up to date and effective evacuation/ invacuation or dynamic lockdown process. This is more important if you have had recent significant refurbishment of buildings or sites or had a change in security manager or processes.

  • Businesses must consider procedures to dynamically lockdown their premises / sites in response to a fast-moving incident such as a firearms or weapons attack, either directly at the site or in the vicinity.

Legal requirements:

The UK approach to managing emergencies is primarily governed by the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. The aim is to ensure all organisations have effective, well-practiced emergency plans in place.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1992 (updated 1999):

  • It is an employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business.
  • Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this.
  • Don’t forget, employees and the self-employed have important responsibilities too.

Security policies can be implemented in response to a variety of incidents including explosion, structural damage, terrorist threats, civil unrest, hazardous materials, dangerous unauthorised person in the vicinity or on premises (i.e. in schools, public galleries, offices etc.)

Do you know the difference between the following terminology?

Dynamic Lockdown 
Shelter in place

For example, a dynamic lockdown is the ability to restrict access to or from a site or part of a building through physical measures in response to an imminent or developing threat, either internal or external. The purpose of a dynamic lockdown is to delay and frustrate attackers until the arrival of Police and emergency services and will provide time to keep your staff and visitors safe and reduce potential casualties.

As a senior manager or as part of your senior leadership team you need to ask yourself the following questions;

  • Has your organisation got a security policy which is current?
  • Who has ownership of the policy and its review?
  • Have you got an evacuation, invacuation or dynamic lockdown policy?
  • Who has the operational control?
  • Do your staff know and understand the procedures if activated?
  • Do your staff understand the stay safe principles?
  • Does it form part of regular training or part of an induction package for new staff?
  • Have you got ‘grab bags’ and emergency equipment to support an invacuation or dynamic lockdown?

For more information on how to develop a security culture, review existing or create new dynamic policies, enhance processes and procedures and test responses, please contact us.

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