This paper describes the design of an Internet of Things (IoT) system for building evacuation. There are two main design decisions for such systems: i) specifying the platform on which the IoT intelligent components should be located; and ii) establishing the level of collaboration among the components. For safety-critical systems, such as evacuation, real-time performance and evacuation time are critical. The approach aims to minimize computational and evacuation delays and uses Queuing Network (QN) models. The approach was tested, by computer simulation, on a real exhibition venue in Alan Turing Building, Italy, that has 34 sets of IoT sensors and actuators. Experiments were performed that tested the effect of segmenting the physical space into different sized virtual cubes. Experiments were also conducted concerning the distribution of the software architecture. The results show that using centralized architectural pattern with a segmentation of the space into large cubes is the only practical solution.