Author Topic: Fire drill  (Read 3727 times)

RoseRodent

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Fire drill
« on: 05 Mar 2012 04:34PM »
I have a fire drill coming up at the one and only thing I do for fun. They rent a church which is a labyrinth so everyone gets an annual fire drill. It's coming in the next few weeks but they will not say when. They want to talk to me about my fire evacuation needs. Thing is, to avoid any faff and carry on and scary evac chairs and things (in any case they have slide sheets, I'm NOT doing that!) I would, in the event of a real emergency, just walk down. It may take me a while, they can inform the fire service that I'm probably still on the stairs but I'm coming. But it's expensive on energy and it hurts like nobody's business, so for the sake of a drill and to demonstrate my capability that yes I really could do this on cue, I'm really not prepared to do it. If the place is actually on fire then hours of pain and days of bedbound recovery is a good trade for a firey death. If it's not genuinely on fire, go suck a brick I'm not doing it. What do I do? A coincidental absence on the day would keep me home for weeks on end. For the purposes of the drill perhaps I could agree to wait in a refuge area, but I think that is not allowed because they have evacuation equipment.

seegee

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #1 on: 05 Mar 2012 04:58PM »
If you refuse to leave by the means suggested by whoever is "in charge of the building" they are meant to leave you behind for the fire officers to deal with because otherwise they would be endangering other people.

Is it possible to contact someone from the fire service for their advice on your personal evacuation plan?
If what they suggest then fits with you not doing the same as everybody else (eg they advise a refuge area) then you can take that info to the church. 

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #2 on: 05 Mar 2012 08:54PM »
http://www.firelawscotland.org/files/Evacuation%20of%20disabled%20persons%20from%20buildings.pdf

I took a quick look through and did not see anywhere that said the disabled person has to take part in a fire drill.

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Is it possible to contact someone from the fire service for their advice on your personal evacuation plan?

I agree with Seegee.

When I was working in the call centre they had evac chairs but I didn't have to take part in the fire drills. The blokes who volunteered to be responsible for my evacuation in the chair just got a able bodied person to take my place when they were trained and then showed they knew what to do. This was in England though

auntieCtheM

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #3 on: 06 Mar 2012 12:15AM »
Oh do contact the fire brigade and get one to come and talk it over with you.  They are always so nice and have a wonderful sense of humour.  I am sure that you will enjoy being lifted into their strong arms, or whatever you both decide is best for you.

devine63

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #4 on: 06 Mar 2012 12:35AM »
Hi Rose

is there some reason you think explaining your decision to the fire safety people won't work?
regards, Deb

RoseRodent

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #5 on: 06 Mar 2012 09:57AM »
Hi Rose

is there some reason you think explaining your decision to the fire safety people won't work?
regards, Deb

Once people have in their heads that wheelchairs and fire safety are extremely scary they get themselves worked into a frenzy making sure to have all the paperwork straight. I'm not sure they particularly mind whether or not I burn to death, provided that the evacuation plan says I shouldn't have. They always like to practice to make sure that everything is OK. I get it, there have been some ridiculous mess ups in the past, notably the evac chair which then didn't fit around a corner to the actual exit, but it doesn't have to be ME that does the evac drill. People have made all sorts of reasons I need to do it, "to make sure you are comfortable with the procedure" is a common one. I'm never going to be comfortable, it's ALWAYS an ordeal, but I don't think anyone is "comfortable" in a burning building. Drills are ridiculous anyway, when people are confronted with real fire they panic and run around in circles even if they are extremely familiar with the escape route, and there is no point practising an escape route in good lighting if you have to do the real thing in a blackout and bathed in smoke, but people like to tick boxes.

oldtone27

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #6 on: 06 Mar 2012 04:19PM »
Rose, I understand why you are reluctant to take part in fire drills, but it is useful for people to be familiar with evacuation procedures. Some idea, even in a panic, is better than no idea.

That said I don't think it essential that they practise with you, but it is essential that they practise. Better find out that a particular manoeuvre is not possible in a test that an actual fire.

Having been involved with fire regulation in building in a former life these things should not be taken lightly. I really do recommend that you familiarise yourself with the procedures.

I agree that these drills usually take place in ideal conditions  rather than those likely to obtain but Even that can reveal problems particularly were house keeping gets sloppy and rarely used exits get blocked and such like.

I do think this is one of the boxes that needs to be ticked.

devine63

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #7 on: 06 Mar 2012 11:22PM »
I agree with Tone - at least if everyone is trained there is a chance the procedures will work, without that there is no chance at all of avoiding total panic.

given the circs it does not need to be you in the chair for the practice, but you do need to be present for the drill - just like everyone else

and I for one am grateful that these days they sometimes TRY to have equipment and procedures - better than "we don't plan to evac u at all"
regards, Deb

auntieCtheM

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #8 on: 07 Mar 2012 07:10PM »
I want to hear how you deal with the firefighters, Rose.  Part of their job is to make evacuation procedures safe for everyone.

Besides which there may well be light, daylight or emergency generators, and not necessarily any smoke for a while.  It may also be that you can teach the firefighters a thing or two  >whistle<

devine63

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #9 on: 08 Mar 2012 12:38AM »

Hi

sorry auntie but "Part of [the firefighters] job is to make evacuation procedures safe for everyone." is incorrect.

Emergency services have no responsibility for EVACUATION at all, that is the responsibility of the building management, who must have suitable procedures and equipment in place to evacuate all users of the building.

IF the evacuation goes wrong or the emergency (such as fire) occurs in a location which prevents the usual evacuation procedures working, then the Emergency services have a duty to RESCUE anyone who has been unable to evacuate the building.
regards, Deb

auntieCtheM

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #10 on: 08 Mar 2012 01:12AM »
Yes, I can see what you mean.  When ineffective buildings management leave people behind in an emergency, the fire brigade step in and rescue those who are left behind. 

devine63

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #11 on: 08 Mar 2012 01:20AM »
well... yes .... that can be one situation (though it is not supposed to be).

Broadly - evacuation is planned, it occurs according to the plan and should be organised and controlled by the building managers and ideally completed BEFORE the emergency services arrive - especially as the services will not guarantee arrival within a specified time frame.

RESCUE was not planned - it occurs because something (in addition to the event that caused the alarm) went wrong with the planned evacuation.

Really a rescue should occur only if the usual emergency exit routes are blocked or the planned helpers cannot get to the disabled person as they usually would because the fire is actually blocking their route....
regards, Deb

hossylass

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #12 on: 08 Mar 2012 01:25AM »
Fire Safety can help with fire evacuations, but each brigade handles this diferently - we had what amounted to two Fire Safety departments, one was public information, organising visits to groups, schools, putting in smoke detectors, all the big society stuff.

Then there were the others, who were a serious and grim lot, and did new building fire regs, and prosecutions. Very, very smart people, but I wouldn't ask them about an evacuation plan ! I wouldn't have asked them for anything to be honest...

So if you do speak to the fire service, and you may not feel the need, then try and get the correct people. The receptionist should help, not the control room though - dont use the nines. Otherwise you could end up feeling slightly more than snubbed >lol<

devine63

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #13 on: 08 Mar 2012 01:28AM »
Hi Hossy

most building managers already know who is their local fire safety advisor from their fire brigade, so that person can be asked for advice too, but in this case - Rose knows what she needs....
regards, Deb

hossylass

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Re: Fire drill
« Reply #14 on: 08 Mar 2012 01:32AM »
Yeah, wasn't really for Rose, I suppose.
Just me being pedantic in case anyone else needed the information.

I like to have a little stroll down memory lane every now and then... it was the only job I really loved >crying<