This is why you need a fire risk assessment and a personal evacuation plan.
We are about to show you a video of a real fire tragedy. Some of the pictures may be upsetting and we remind you that this video was released in order to help prevent such a tragic loss of life from happening again.
This video will tell you exactly why you need to have a fire risk assessment, fire safety arrangements and a fire evacuation plan.
Anybody who has a duty of care for other people ~ needs to watch this video.
Anybody who makes decisions about a building’s safety equipment ~ needs to watch this video.
Anybody who is responsible for producing a fire risk assessment, a fire evacuation plan, or is responsible for staff training in fire safety ~ needs to watch this video.
Before we show you the full video, we need to tell you about what should have happened before the video, what is happening at 1 minute and what is happening at 2 minutes, because as you will see, after 2 minutes in this case, it was probably too late.
Before the video, a fire risk assessment by suitably qualified and competent professionals would have picked up that the sound proofing materials in the walls and the ceilings were going to produce a mass of toxic black smoke during a fire and it should have been made safe and that indoor pyrotechnics would not have been a good idea; in this type of building.
Combined with a well-rehearsed evacuation plan, through all of the available exits, a single inspection, to carry out a fire risk assessment could have prevented many of the 100 deaths that probably took place during the first 2 minutes of this incident.
At around 1 minute after the fire started, smoke is pouring out of the exits ~ faster than the people can evacuate.
Anybody breathing-in the hot black smoke will be rendered incapable of motion, a second intake of smoke is likely to completely incapacitate the lungs. There may not be a third intake of breath.
Before the 2-minute mark, the double fire doors are blocked by a blind panic rush of bodies trying the escape the deadly smoke.
The fire engines arrived within 5 minutes, which is an excellent response time in any situation, in any city in the world.
There was little chance that they could prevent – any further deaths by the smoke, now they could only prevent further injury and damage by the fire itself.
Over 50% of the deaths were close to the exit.
The black smoke traveled quicker than the guests could exit.
The positions of the 100 deaths at the Station fire.
This film has been made public so that the lessons can be learned, and only then, can any kind of benefit be gained by this tragic loss of life.
If you’re not at least worried after seeing this film that your fire safety precautions should at least be reviewed,
then you may be leaving the lives of your staff, customers and visitors to chance.
We are lucky that we have had this warning and we only have to watch a video.
We have the choice to make a difference and prevent this kind of incident happening on our watch.
I have spoken to the fire safety staff who have told me about situations that have affected them personally during their 30 years plus in the fire service. They have seen things that nobody should have to see.
They are committed to preventing anything like this from happening within their sphere of influence.
We all see it as our duty to pass this knowledge on to everybody who is a position of deciding whether a fire risk assessment is carried out to an adequate standard to prevent this kind of tragedy in the future.
It has been the legal responsibility of the responsible person or duty holder to ensure that an adequate fire risk assessment and suitable emergency evacuation procedures are in place since 2006.
It would be expected that people like commercial or office building owners, residential care homes, housing associations, the owners of shops, factories and leisure sector premises should have a professional level, written fire plan.
In fact, every company is required to have an evacuation plan, no matter how small they are.
You should be concerned,
if you are let into a building without signing in,
when there are new staff who haven’t been thoroughly inducted,
when the safety rules are being broken on a regular basis,
where there is no obvious building management presence,
when the building maintenance costs appear to be a problem,
when other building facilities appear to be failing on a regular basis,
when there appears to be a common behavioural blindness to the potential risks or
when nobody is reacting when the fire alarm is activated
Believing that “it won’t happen here” or “it’s never going to happen to us” and doing nothing, is now actually illegal.
If you are an organisation with 5 or more people, you have a legal responsibility to have a written fire risk assessment and a fire evacuation plan.
If you are an organisation with less than 5 people, you still have the same responsibilities, but you are not required to have it in writing.
We know that this is all a bit heavy and not very entertaining, it is meant to be informative. People often do not really realise until they see videos and incidents like this that the black smoke alone was such a serious issue and I hope if you take away just 1 message from this video, it is that ‘smoke kills’.
We all feel a great responsibility because of the knowledge we have and until we can get the message heard and understood by everybody, we won’t enjoy peace of mind.
We actually feel as if it’s our personal mission to prevent these kinds of incidents, as they can be prevented. We remind you that this video was released in order to help prevent an incident like this happening again.
Please be careful when choosing furniture and decorations, check your fire alarm batteries and turn all electrical items off before going to bed.
As you can see from this video, prevention is going to be a much safer option than waiting even a few minutes for a fire engine.
If the smoke from this fire manages to get upstairs, you may not (ever) wake up to alert the fire service, so fit a Smoke Alarm and test it regularly – see specific instructions on the alarm.