Time Out for Fire Safety

I live in a condo complex made up of three towers, each with 18 floors and a few hundred residents. Last night the fire alarm went off at 2:30am. After hitting the snooze button multiple times in a vain sleep-induced attempt to stop the noise, I pulled some pants and socks on, grabbed my wallet, phone, and keys, and rushed downstairs.

I stood outside in front of the building, mentally evaluating my fire-drill performance. Did I move fast enough? Did I remember all the strategies like checking metal doorknobs for heat?

And then I looked up the three towers and felt better about my performance. Many of the other building residents, instead of making any effort to the leave the building, were standing in their living rooms looking out the windows. Others stood on their balconies, making no attempt to flee to safety. Only about 50 people actually made a point of making their way downstairs into the parking lot.

I couldn't believe my eyes, and I find it really hard to think that people could be so foolish and short-sighted. Had it been a real fire, they all could have died there in their suites or on their balconies.

Do they not realize what a fire alarm means? Have these people never had to do a fire drill before? Are they just plain ignorant? Or maybe they're just too lazy to take the stairs and would rather die than tackle that many flights.

After waiting for over 10 minutes for the fire department to show up, J and I decided it was time for a trip across the street to Tim Hortons.

I'm sure we probably committed some crime I'm not aware of like "leaving the scene of a fire". But nobody else seemed very concerned, and the fire crew sure took their sweet time getting to the building. At least I left the building like I've been trained to do. And in the case of a real fire Tim Hortons would be a lot safer than standing in the parking lot.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

This is a phemonmenon I have observed multiple times over. My building was struck my lightning and only about 3 people came out (most of whom were pet owners, like myself). When I first moved into this complex (3 towers of 12 floors) we had a fire alarm as well. There were just a handful of people outside, and there was actual smoke pouring out of the building. All of these experiences have taught me, people are dumbasses and this is how the gene pool is cleansed...