Once again, the world watched in horror as fire engulfed a large building, killing dozens, mainly children. The fire and smoke at the Kemerovo shopping mall in Russia spread with ferocious speed and our thoughts are with the families, rescuers and everyone who has been touched by this awful tragedy.
Reports are arising that fire alarms and sprinklers had been switched off, and that fire exits were either locked, or access was blocked. One of the most heart-breaking reports is that children were phoning their parents begging for help, but the calls became final farewells.
Away from these awful scenes, in our calm, regulated day-to-day existence, it may seem impossible that such a terrible thing could happen to us. It may be easy to be complacent. Fire safety regulations have been put together for good reason; to save lives.
So, take a moment – check your own space.
· Check the fire exits are clear and working
· Check that fire doors are not being propped open to stop them banging
· Check the fire alarm and sprinklers are switched on and working
· Check the batteries in smoke detectors
· Check you know how to get out in case of a fire, and where to go
· If you haven’t done one recently, organise a fire drill
· Check the expiry date on fire extinguishers, and know which to use and when
These simple measures could save lives. And yes, the chances are that it probably will never happen – but is it worth taking the risk?
That’s the power of using a safety management system. If you don’t have a good one already, it’s after an incident happens that you’ll wish you did.
With AssessNET, you can be reminded of when those fire checks should take place, as well as be provided with a question set prompting you to think methodically to pinpoint the exact fire risks. Many more lives could possibly have been saved if the Kemerovo shopping centre had implemented a system to remind them of the required checks to safely operate the facility.
If you’re not sure what you should do, ask for advice. Our expert team at Riskex are here to help – just give us a call.