Sure Evacuation With RFID

Sure Evacuation With RFID

How using RFID can help prevent fatal accidents during evacuations

The greatest nightmare of an evacuation coordinator is to finish the evacuation before all employees reach the assembly point. Such disasters can be prevented with RFID UHF technology because it gives complete knowledge on the location of every person that needs to be evacuated at any time of the work day.

The aim of every evacuation is unchangeable: to lead out from an endangered area all employees and, of course, it should be done in the quickest way, so staff will be safe as soon as possible. During the evacuation process, the coordinator should control, in real time, the location of every single person: who has already left endangered building, who has reached which assembly point (there may be a number of them and they are run by separate coordinators) and who is still in building.

However, current methods do not guarantee the optimal course of evacuation. Therefore, they do not guarantee employees the full safety in a situation of sudden danger. Change is brought by RFID UHF technology, that it may be used for creating evacuation systems.


Evacuation commences even before any danger occurs. After all, the key information for companies is how many employees are on campus at any given time and which ones should be led to an assembly point.

Naturally, the location of certain employees will change during the work day. People move between buildings, leave one and enter another. When a siren sound rips through the air, a coordinator theoretically knows who should be moving to a safe place, but if he or she lacks the list of people and where they are, for who is he or she responsible?

Therefore, precise location of staff should be constantly monitored.


In many factories, there are still systems where a coordinator can rely on only themselves when it comes to verifying who has reached an assembly point. The coordinator either counts employees, reads their names aloud or circulates among them, ticking the names of spotted people.

It is easy to conclude that such a method is rather imprecise and its imprecision generates a risk that can have tragic consequences. One man may be omitted or someone’s name could be ticked accidentally and when evacuation is finished, somebody can simply be left behind.

This manual method has too many included risks when it comes to the lives of evacuees. Simply put, this is a zero-one solution: somebody is present or somebody is absent. If someone is absent, how do you find out where that person is?


Bearing in mind the safety of your staff, it is recommended to look closer at RFID UHF technology and what conveniences it brings for evacuation coordinators, how it increases the chances for successful evacuation and how evacuation changes itself when RFID UHF is used.

What makes it remarkable, are its features. It can automatically detect even 300 markers (RFID UHF tags) within one second. Markers can be read from eight meters and the read precision is 99.7 percent. Finally, a marker can be correctly identified even through obstacles (through clothes or cardboards), without visual contact between RFID UHF reader and tag.

These features make RFID UHF the perfect tool for all identification, scanning and identifying processes. It has been proved by many RFID UHF implementations such areas as retail, logistics or aviation.

RFID UHF technology became popular due to its tags. Compared to other markers, especially beacons, they stand out with great variety of sizes and shapes. A battery is not required for RFID UHF tags to work continuously. It makes them ready to mark various objects in countless situations.

Such wide range of applications makes RFID perfectly suitable for evacuation systems. This technology gives coordinators full knowledge and increases the safety level of evacuated people.


Evacuation system based on RFID consists of readers, antennas, and RFID tags. These tags—in a form of light and convenient lanyard— contain information about every employee. The person's name and group to which they have been assigned by administration. Data written on lanyard is read by antennas and then transmitted to readers. From there, it goes to computers, tablets or smartphones used by managers and evacuation coordinators.

In this way, employees are being monitored in a real time. When danger occurs, coordinators immediately know who must be evacuated and staff know exactly what to do. Their only duty is simply go to assigned assembly point. When people exit, they are automatically and collectively identified due to lanyard-tags they carry with themselves. Simultaneously, when they leave, a coordinator is notified who is leaving building. The number of people does not matter: RFID UHF technology perfectly handles the simultaneous identification of many employees. Because of the aforementioned precision (99.7 percent), the risk of omitting any man or incorrectly scanning tag is practically none.

The same mechanism works at assembly point. Installed antennas correctly recognize incoming employees (single and groups), sending information to the reader and then to the coordinator. By looking at the screen of a coordinator's computer or any mobile device he or she can easily see who is in a safe place. The coordinator can check who is still in a potentially endangered area and can also verify which employees reached other assembly points.


It is impossible to overlook the technology advantages of RFID UHF, especially in terms of increasing evacuation safety. Thanks to its scalability and simple software integration with applications used in factories, it can be used in every company, regardless of its area or number of personnel. By using RFID UHF for evacuations, the risk of fatal accidents is significantly lower.

This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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