Conclusions about the evacuations and in-house emergency services at the university

We would like to thank all the members of the Leiden University Panel for sharing their opinions on evacuations and in-house emergency services. In total, 486 panel members participated in the survey, which was conducted in March 2019. The objective of the survey was to assess how familiar the students and employees of Leiden University are with the emergency exits in the university buildings. In this article, we would like to share some interesting findings from the results of the survey. The students’ knowledge about the in-house emergency services at the university is fairly equally distributed. Some of the students know what the in-house emergency services do, some students have heard of them but do not know it entails, and some students are not familiar with the in-house emergency services at the university. All employees are more or less familiar with the in-house emergency services. The emergency exits, however, are a completely different story. Only three out of ten students can blindly find the emergency exits in the building where they study. For employees, this number is three out of four. Half of the students would follow the crowd, and since this crowd is often led by an employee, it is important that employees know where the emergency exits are located. One out of five students says specifically that they would follow a teacher. In an ideal situation, students and employees would know exactly where the emergency exits are located and take the closest one in case of an evacuation or drill. Currently, 47% of the students and 39% of the employees indicate that they would leave the building via the main entrance or the side entrance. The university encourages students and employees to use the emergency exits and will commit to increasing awareness about them in the coming period. The actions that students and employees said they would take in the case of an evacuation were also remarkable. 18% of the students and 9% of the employees take proper action by walking away from the building. The rest would wait at the assembly area or the entrance of the building. The university is trying to prevent this and will communicate about this more clearly in the future. As a result of this input, the University Services Department (UFB) is going to tackle the following points: