Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

Having run out of things to worry about, and looking for a way to become immersed in my new community, I volunteered for the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program. My first training class was today, and after the first 30 minutes I decided I could never go out to a restaurant, concert or major social event again. And that I must go home and use my duct tape and rope to make a fire escape ladder from my apartment, just in case the fire breaks out in the 10 feet between my door and the fire escape.
I felt better about going out in public a couple of hours later, when they took us outside and let us distinguish a small fire. But I feel compelled to share two simple safety tips.
TAKE A FEW SECONDS TO SPOT ALL EXITS. We watched videos of people burning in a building, not because there were not adequate fire escape routes, but because they were ALL trying to get out the SAME door. When you go into a restaurant, theatre, concert hall, take a second to find the fire doors. Psychologically, people will usually try to exit a building the same way they came in. Run for the door that you think no one else notices.
USE THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER TO GET OUT: Most fire extinguishers are located near exits, and are not intended to be used to go back and fight the fire. They are placed there to clear a safe path out of a burning building.
I was reminded of a sign I saw in a restaurant in Mexico, regarding fire evacuation procedures. It included a sign of a stick figure sitting at a table, with flames erupting behind him. Step one showed the stick figure standing up. Step two showed the stick figure running.
So, enough preaching. It’s that simple. Take the extra second out of your life to notice the exit and the extinguisher. And in case of emergency, grab the fire extinguisher and extinguish your way out the least crowded exit.
The purpose of the CERT program is to train people within the community in case of major disasters, when emergency personnel may not be able to reach them for an extended period of time. Like Hurricane Katrina. We’re not expected to be heroes and rush into burning buildings, but I figured if there’s going to be any kind of disaster in my neighborhood it couldn’t hurt to be prepared. And they give us a really cool backpack with a flashlight, hard hat and vest.

May 8, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Somebody has to save the world 🙂

    Comment by Ben Springborn | May 8, 2011 | Reply

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