The Fire drill just occurred in my building. This was the second time I had the glorious opportunity to witness the drill in my building. We were given one weeks notice that the drill would be happening today. I wanted to come up with a reason to not be home, but … nothing pulled me away from this!
Anyway the fire drill.
Fire drills are not taken seriously in this side of the world, until one happens and then everyone collapses into a pile of panic!
Today, I witnessed two incidents which added fuel to the fire (see what I did there?) that we have a serious issue with health and safety in this country.
- The fire evacuation point was in front of the building (in front of the restaurant) – whether this was a drill or not the evacuation point should be away from the building and definitely not in front of the restaurant! If there had been a fire, debris would have fallen on the evacuees or if there was a gas explosion from the restaurant… well I don’t want to think what could happen.
- 3 men came out 20 minutes after the drill started. One was so arrogant he walked back in after asking whether it was a drill (doh!), ignoring the security guard. If there was an actual fire, and they didn’t come out someone such as the security guards or firemen could die trying to save them.
- Another 2 men who do not even live in the building, came out of a flat on my floor straight after the drill had finished; when I asked them why they were in the building they said they didn’t care it was a fire drill and had work to do! They seem flabbergasted that someone would dare point out that a fire drill means that you are not allowed to be in the building. They also didn’t like it that a woman was telling them off (sexism is still rife here with certain nationalities).
I know a lot of people do not take drills seriously and it has been a common problem for many years, but this is unacceptable and dangerous. There has to be a change in the manner that drills are taken in all the buildings whether big or small.
I have complained to the Building management suggesting that they not give notice of the drills (like they do in the UK), as it may wake these residents up to actually take the drills seriously. They also need to change the evacuation point. Just because it is sunny doesn’t mean that the residents have to stand in the shade of the building for the drill – it’s a bloody drill!
Update 10 December 2015 – I have had a reply from the Building Management. They advised that the assembly point is as per the drawings approved by the Civil Defence. This must have been approved over 4 years ago when there were no buildings on this site. I am sure they would change the point to be away from the building if they reviewed it now. If.
With regards to the people not participating with the drill, the fire marshal is supposed to ensure everyone leaves the building and stays out (no idea how they can tell if people are still in the apartment but anyway). However as this was a drill there is no way to enforce this. I am sure that this is not the stance in Europe when there are drills.
What else can you suggest should be done to ensure that these drills are taken much more seriously?
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