Doug Bedell — October 22, 2007, 9:04 am

Instincts May Be Wrong

The need to have an explicit, practiced emergency plan for any eventuality at a facility is highlighted by a survey on reactions to fire on FacilityBlog of Today’s Facility Manager magazine.

“If there were a fire in your building,” the survey asked, “what would be your first action?” Thirty-nine percent of the respondents said they would call the fire department.

“‘At first glance, this seems a sensible response,” notes Chris Jelenewicz, SFPE engineering program manager. “However, people should first exit the building and then call the fire department once in a safe location.'”

Instinctive reponses, as this survey demonstrates, aren’t always the correct ones.

“Only 28 percent of Americans answered that their first action would be to leave the burning building. Other responses included notifying others (24 percent), fighting the fire (4 percent), searching for the source of fire (3 percent), and searching for more information (2 percent).

Whatever responses are correct for any given situation, they should be indentified and practiced in advance of an emergency. Whether a challenge is likely to occur isn’t the point. Knowing how to react, and acting safely, should one occur is what emergency preparedness is about. There’s nothing like an occasional unannounced drill, followed by an eyes-opened critique, to imbue safety as a facility’s hallmark.

PRO Barrier’s vehicle barriers are among those items that you may use every day, but for which you also need to practice emergency operations. While we believe our barrier control panel is the industry’s most intuitive, your guards still still need to train for vehicle attack emergencies so they know exactly how to use the barrier controls under all circumstances. We can design a simple barrier training program for your staff so they will react correctly when the unthinkable happens… contact us.

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