Life Safety

SUPPLEMENT TO TENANT EMERGENCY PROCEDURES MANUAL

Tenant Warden System

In addition to providing tenants with a separate Emergency Procedures Plan booklet, Esperson utilizes a Tenant Warden system to facilitate implementation of the Emergency Procedures Plan in times of emergency.  Each tenant shall appoint two individuals, one to serve as Warden and the other as Assistant Warden. The names of the Tenant Wardens are to be listed on the Tenant Warden Information form, a copy of which can be found in the Forms Section of this Manual.

In recent years, the term “Life Safety” has been accorded new emphasis, as it affects all aspects of modern office building operations.  The Management at Esperson, utilizing the guidance of the Houston Fire Department, has developed a plan of action to help protect the lives and property of Esperson occupants in the event of an emergency.

The successful execution of the Esperson Emergency Procedures Plan will depend upon the degree of confidence, cooperation, and coordination achieved by the Tenant Wardens and their fellow employees.

Each tenant can assist in the successful implementation of an outstanding Life Safety program by realizing a responsibility to:

  1. Assign responsible and respected personnel to function as Tenant Wardens and assistants.
  2. Insist that the Tenant Wardens read and understand the Emergency Procedures Plan.
  3. Tenant Wardens must attend free training provided by the Houston Fire Department or other authorized trainer and receive a Certificate of Fire Safety. This certificate is valid for five years, and a copy should be on file with the Management Office.
  4. Assure that copies of the Emergency Procedures Plan are disseminated to all employees.
  5. Allow Tenant Wardens to participate in periodic training sessions that will emphasize the performance of specialized emergency assignments.
  6. Enthusiastically support the overall objectives of the Emergency Procedures Plan.

The Management at Esperson will periodically contact all tenants for an update on Tenant Warden assignments and to coordinate Tenant Warden training. Tenant Warden training will be conducted on a yearly basis and will be scheduled in a manner to provide the utmost in convenience for both tenants and the Tenant Wardens.

The success of the Tenant Warden system and the safety of all building occupants require a commitment from everyone involved. If there are any questions or suggestions concerning any part of the Esperson Emergency Procedures Plan, please do not hesitate to contact the Management Office at (713) 224-1663.

Responsibilities of Tenant Wardens

The assigned Wardens and Assistant Wardens for each tenant/floor are responsible for the following:

  1. To be completely familiar with the floor arrangement, the number of floor occupants, and the location of floor exits.
  2. To divide the floor/office population into groups and formulate the traffic pattern to use for emergency stair exits.
  3. To inspect the floor daily and determine that all fire doors to stairs are closed and that no doors are obstructed or inoperable.
  4. To maintain an up-to-date listing of all personnel who cannot use stairs unaided. Make arrangements to have these occupants assisted when evacuation is directed.
  5. To take necessary action to prevent panic.
  6. To assure that all persons on the floor are notified of fire and all are evacuated to safe areas. If possible, a search should be conducted in all lavatories, core offices, conference rooms, etc.
  7. To assign each person in their floor group to a specific stairwell.

Tenant Warden Training

If an emergency should arise, the best way to provide for the safety of building occupants is to have a well-conceived plan of action that is implemented by competent and trained leaders.  The Tenant Wardens are the very heart of the successful implementation of the Emergency Procedures Plan.

The Management at Esperson will provide training and assistance for all Tenant Wardens.  Responsibilities and situations that will be covered in this training will include:

  1. Knowledge of evacuation plans to be used in emergency situations.
  2. Knowledge of floor layout, including the stairwell exits and the location of fire fighting equipment.
  3. Familiarity with personnel working in their office, i.e., any employees with physical deficiencies, which would require extraordinary assistance if evacuation were necessary.
  4. Recognition of potential fire hazards and situations that could impede a safe and orderly evacuation.
  5. How to routinely make a visual inspection of life safety equipment in their offices or on their floor.
  6. Knowledge of how fire and smoke spread and how to prevent this from happening.
  7. Function and use of building fire fighting equipment.
  8. Knowledge of the functions performed by the building management, security personnel and Fire/Police Departments in times of emergency.

A good training program, coupled with the leadership provided by Tenant Wardens, will help facilitate a safe and secure work environment at Esperson.

Testing of Fire Safety Plan

Various aspects of the Fire Safety Plan at Esperson will be tested on a deliberate, systematic and periodic basis, in accordance with instructions from the Management Office or the Fire Department.  Such testing will familiarize key personnel with their emergency duties and responsibilities, evaluate these duties and the Emergency Procedures Plan, and will help identify any existing deficiencies and the need to make official corrections or adjustments.

Fire Evacuation Procedures and Emergency Plans

Office buildings vary in size, shape, square footage, and tenant mix. Because of these factors, each building relates differently to Fire Evacuation Procedures and Emergency Plans. Therefore, plans regarding procedures for Esperson have been specially designed by Cameron Management and reviewed by the Houston Fire Department. The following information represents the procedures that will be followed by the tenants and the Management at Esperson.

If you see flames or smoke, smell smoke or something that is definitely burning:

  1. Remove anyone from immediate danger, then go to the nearest fire alarm manual pull station on your floor (red fire alarm box in corridors) and pull handle. This will cause alarm to sound.
  2. Notify the Houston Fire Department by telephone at 911.
    • Identify what is on fire
    • Give the address and the type of building
    • Give the floor
    • Answer any questions the fire dispatcher may ask
  3. Call the Management Office at (713) 224-1663.
  4. Notify your Floor or Tenant Warden.
  5. Close doors around the fire to contain it.
  6. Alert other persons nearby who may be in danger.
  7. Evacuate through the nearest stairwell.

If you think you smell smoke or something burning, perform actions 3 and 4 above.

Fire Emergency Procedures

  1. Keep calm.  Remember to walk down the stairs quietly.
  2. If caught in heavy smoke, get low to the floor and cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or cloth. Take short breaths and crawl to the nearest exit.
  3. Do not attempt to fight the fire.
  4. Do not attempt to use the elevators.
  5. Remove any type of shoes that may impede a swift decent down the stairs.

Each tenant and/or floor will have a minimum of two Wardens assigned.  In the event that the automatic fire alarm is sounded, it will be the responsibility of the Wardens to systematically inform every individual on the floor of the alarm.

At this point, everyone on the affected floor will take their immediate personal belongings and proceed to their pre-designated stairwell and evacuate the building.  Verbal communication from the building personnel will be maintained in the stairwells with the individuals.  Floor and Tenant Wardens will be the last individuals to leave the affected floors.

Regularly scheduled fire drills will be conducted with the tenants to perfect these procedures and increase the efficiency of the Wardens.

During the fire drills and during an actual evacuation, the Warden is in charge of the evacuation of his/her fellow employees.

The three designated meeting areas are Pennzoil Place (Milam at Rusk), 919 Milam @ Travis, and Two Shell Plaza (Walker & Milam).  Employees are asked to evacuate to these areas to enable emergency equipment easy access to the building.

Fire Alarm System

Esperson has been designed and equipped with a fire control and alarm system. The following will activate an alarm:

  • Smoke detection
  • Heat detection
  • Activation of the sprinkler
  • Activation of the standpipe system

What to expect:

  • An alarm will sound throughout the affected building in an alternating tone.
  • The nature of the alarm shall be indicated on the fire alarm panel located in the Rusk Lobby.
  • All elevators will automatically be recalled to the ground floor and remain unavailable for use until the alarm system is reset.
  • The HVAC system will automatically shut down.
  • All exit lights in the affected building will flash upon activation of an alarm.

Communications

In emergencies, communication is vitally important to the success of any plan or procedure.

The Management Office and main telephone number will be the control point for all emergencies. Tenant’s employees are requested not to call the Management Office during an emergency. Only appointed Floor/Tenant Warden Contacts should confer with the Management Office during an emergency. An alarm should be the signal for everyone to leave.

Building Management personnel and Fire Wardens will give directions and other information to the tenants as they evacuate the building.

Other Emergency Procedures

Please refer to the Tenant Emergency Procedures Manual for the following possible occurrences:

  • Bomb Threats
  • Serious Accident/Illness
  • Hurricane and Severe Weather
  • Evacuation

HANDICAPPED EVACUATION

Visually Impaired:
Each person should have a “buddy” assigned to them to assist them in the event of an evacuation.  Ask each person the best way to assist them to the stairwell and lead them to safety.  It is important that the “buddy” remain with the person until the emergency is over.

Physically Disabled/Non-Ambulatory Persons:
Each person should have a “buddy” assigned to assist them in the event of an evacuation.  In most instances, it will only be necessary to move the person into the stairwell for safety.  If it becomes necessary to move them down the stairs, various lifting and carrying techniques can be utilized.  Ask the person the best way to help.  Stay with the person until the emergency is over.  Elevators should not be used.

Fire Wardens must notify the Management Office at (713) 224-1663 of mobility impaired persons within their areas of responsibility.

POWER FAILURE
Esperson is equipped with an emergency generator. In the event of a power outage, emergency lights on every floor will stay on, and one elevator will remain in operation. Management will inform all Tenant Wardens as to what actions are to be taken if power is not restored within a reasonable time.

ELEVATOR FAILURE
If you are caught inside an elevator:

  • Remain Calm.
  • Press the “Emergency Call” button and the monitoring company will be contacted.
  • Do not try to force the elevator doors open.  This could slow the repair process.

If you observe a malfunctioning elevator from outside, please report this to the Management Office at (713) 224-1663.

CIVIL DISTURBANCE
Although riots and civil disturbances are rare, there is still a need for a planned course of action.  Should a disturbance start outside of the building at Esperson, all entrances to the affected building will be secured by building personnel.  A call to the local Police Department will then be made.

Based on the continued atmosphere of the disturbance, a decision will be made by the Management Office, and the tenants will be notified.  Should a disturbance start in either the Niels Lobby or Mellie Lobby, all elevators will be turned off at the first floor.  Angry demonstrators, etc., cannot be given access to the office areas of the building for any reason.

If, in the event a disturbance should occur in a tenant’s office or premises, the Management Office should be notified immediately.  All assistance will be given to the tenant; however, the decision to call any law enforcement to a tenant’s area will be left to the tenant.