I'm one of many fire wardens in my office building. We wear less than fashionable orange hats and vests during a fire/drill but in reality have an important role to play. I work in an 8 storey building of over 2000 people and it would be virtually impossible for the fire dept to check each and every workstation to ensure everyone is out. That's where myself and about 60 other fire wardens come in to play. In the case of a fire we don our fire warden gear and begin a sweep of the offices, washrooms, boardrooms, etc. in our area. Once clear, we exit the building and check in with the floor captain notifying them that our area is clear. It's a responsibility I volunteered for and really enjoy. It's just one more form of helping people that makes up the person that is me. Most times people are very cooperative but occasionally you just give your head a shake as people walk UP the stairs to retrieve stuff from their work stations. It's a fire folks....get you butt out of the building!!
So, back to the original reason for my post. Each year the fire wardens go through some training. Some of it is in our building and updates us on the procedures we're to follow and also what to do with co-workers with mobility challenges, etc. After each fire drill/fire (and there have been a couple of small ones) we have a debriefing in the lunch room with the fire personnel. How long did it take us to get out? What went well? What needs to be improved? That kind of stuff.
There are 2 other training events each year that we also attend. We are certified for First Aid and CPR. Again this training is done in our office.
But, once a year we spend the morning at the fire hall learning about office fire safety and practice using fire extinguishers. (Here is Jan practicing her extinguisher skills: PASS - Pin Aim Squeeze and Sweep) Before leaving Thursday I was emailing a friend and mentioning how nice it would be to spend the morning with 'da men!' Ummm...yup! Then in walked our trainer. And her name was Nancy! Too funny! So much for my big plans of spending the morning with a man in a uniform. There was 1 guy that joined us for the extinguisher portion as you can see from the pic above.
Nancy was a great teacher and very knowledgeable too. Learned lots! Here are a things you might want to consider:
- smoke alarms (one on every floor of the house) need to be changed every 10 years. Note to self: change mine soon!
- a CO2 detector should be placed in the hallway outside the sleeping area - check!
- the majority of fires start in the kitchen. (This one is all too familiar to our family as just this week we lost my Grandma's house to a fire that started in the kitchen. Grandma is fine (Praise God!!!) but the house will not be inhabitable any longer. She did something I know I've done and I'm guessing many of you may have too. She put something on the stove and left the room. That was all it took. PLEASE be careful!!!)
- keep a fire extinguisher in your home and check it's pressure regularly. The thought is normally to have is under the kitchen sink but normally the front hall is a better location as in the case of a fire you may not be able to get under the sink.
- have escape plans from your house and a meeting place.
So much good information and it's becoming all that more important as I await Hannah's arrival.
This week is Fire Prevention week. Why not check your smoke alarms, purchase a CO2 detector if you don't have one and pick up a fire extinguisher. Many stores have these items on sale this week. Steps in preparing for baby that we may not normally consider.