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Fire Alarm and Evacuations.

How Long Does it Take to React to a Fire Alarm

This recent experiment demonstrates reactions to fire alarms and evacuations.  The slow reaction time demonstrates the importance of training, regular evacuation drills and fire wardens.

Alan Cox comments on Livefyre that:

"This exercise is a replica of a television programme that was screened about 20 years ago with the same scenario  but instead of a "fire warden" a voice fire alarm was used during the second evacuation which achieved the same result.

One aspect of the previous version that was interesting was that one of the people in the room in the first evacuation left after about a minute and was not allowed back into the room - when this person was asked why she left when no one else did, she responded that she was a nurse and had been trained to respond to fire alarms immediately and not wait for someone to tell her what to do.

So what can we learn from this video that we did not know previously? Firstly, that not much has changed in 20 years and that when a fire alarm sounds people will still wait for direction, unless they have been trained how to respond.

Secondly, that when these people entered the building they should have had the fire procedure explained to them and if this was not done they should have asked what to do although I understand why this was not done on this occasion. "

The lessons for employers:

  1. Carry out regular training.
  2. Carry out regular evacuation drills.
  3. Implement a policy whereby visitors are informed what to do if the alarm is raised, and what is used to raise the alarm(bells, sirens, voice?).
  4. Train fire wardens.

For help and advice on Fire alarms and evacuations call FSS on 01246 434 314.

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