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If a fire alarm went off in a shop, what would you expect to happen?

(15 Posts)
LittleMissGerardButlersMinion Mon 10-Feb-14 11:57:32

I went into Wilkos this morning, had just gone in and walked to the back of the shop. The fire alarm went off, but customers were still walking around. I thought oh, noone is leaving, maybe it's just a test, but walked to the exit anyway. there was a fire exit nearer the back, with the push bars, i suppose i should have used that. As I was walking near the tills, a member of staff was giving people dirty looks and saying 'its a fire alarm' in a demeaning and sarcastic tone.

So I walked to the front of the shop were all the staff except one stood by the tills were outside already, a lot of customers were still inside still shopping.

I put my bits down and went outside, and the staff were stood slagging off the customers and calling them thick and stupid!

I walked off at this point as I wasn't going to give my custom to them after that.

I work in retail, and while I appreciate our safety comes first, you are expected to say to any customers in a nice way, to please leave the store.

I know customers can be rude too, but this was something else. The staff in there are rude all the time and while I can sympathize how hard retail is, if you are rude to people they will find other places to go.

Lottiedoubtie Mon 10-Feb-14 11:59:07

I'd expect staff to give instructions as to what to do yes. Or else I'd assume it was a test.

If a staff member had been rude to or about me I'd have complained to the manager.

ShanghaiDiva Mon 10-Feb-14 12:00:35

Would expect a tannoy announcement to say it was not a test and to please leave the store, otherwise many people would assume it was a test.

juneybean Mon 10-Feb-14 12:01:13

I'd have expected some kind of instruction, yes it's a fire alarm but how am I to know that? In those places some doors are alarmed!

sweetassugarhardasnails Mon 10-Feb-14 12:02:55

I've worked in a large supermarket and when there has been a fire alarm staff walk through the store explaining to customers that there's an alarm and they need to leave the store. Soooooooooooooo many customers look at you like you've grown a second head, refuse to leave, demand to know if its a test so they dont have to leave. Ive been shouted at sworn at etc

Morloth Mon 10-Feb-14 12:04:48

When I hear a fire alarm I leave the building as quickly and as calmly and as sensibly as possible.

I don't give a shit if I set off an alarm on a door, not my problem.

Fire moves fast.

Details about doors and drills can be sorted out later. Outside.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Mon 10-Feb-14 12:07:43

I would expect the staff to take control and for there to be a designated person in charge of letting customers know what to do.

If it is a fire alarm test then there should be a notice in plain sight. If it is a drill for staff, likewise, otherwise, the staff should be managing the customers in accordance with their training - calling out that this is not a drill, please exit the shop, or something, as they are leaving.

TheScience Mon 10-Feb-14 12:09:25

When I've been in somewhere that had an actual fire alarm, staff informed customers it wasn't a test and everyone left.

I've also been in places when alarms have gone off and nothing has really happened, so assumed it was a test/mistake.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 10-Feb-14 12:10:53

If it was a fire alarm test than customers should have been notified both before and after the event.

If it was a drill then staff should have been clearing the building in accordance with their fire plan.

If there is ever a real fire in a big store there will be deaths as no-one takes fire alarms seriously

sleepyhead Mon 10-Feb-14 12:14:48

As I've worked in retail before, what I would expect to happen is for there to be an announcement, for staff to go round asking people to leave (politely) and for a handful of customers to kick off, insist on being served/given just a few more minutes to browse/just plain refuse to budge.

The staff were rude though. No excuse.

bigbluebus Mon 10-Feb-14 12:19:14

I would expect the staff to guide the customers out of the store. WHen an alarm goes off in a shop, people just tend to look at each other waiting for confirmation that it is a fire alarm or not. Obviously the other customers wouldn't know, so staff would need to initiate evacuation.
Has only happened to me once in a Supermarket and I was near the till area anyway. There was a tannoy announcement asking everyone to leave the store.

Towanda Mon 10-Feb-14 12:21:19

I've worked in a number of stores/concessions for the same company. In the shops in shopping centres, we had to ask all the customers to leave the store as it was a genuine alarm then put the shutter down and evacuate the staff.

In the dept stores, we had to clear our own depts of customers. On one concession stand we had a fire exit so were responsible for manning that and directing customers out. Tannoy announcements were given then once all customers were out, staff had to evacuate.

The only time I've seen staff leaving at the same time as customers was when there was a bomb threat and only the minimum of management and security cleared the building.

Sirzy Mon 10-Feb-14 12:22:56

if it went on for more than a couple of seconds I would leave the shop

Sounds like they've had horrendous staff fire evacuation training and no customer service training at all

I'd go berserk if that was one of my stores.

ShadowOfTheDay Mon 10-Feb-14 12:30:19

If it is a genuine fire then EVERYONE leaves - including staff -

should they stay and burn whilst an idiot selects their shopping despite being informed they need to leave BY A FIRE BELL... staff will help where it is safe to do so - they are not trained fire-fighters/risk assessors.

If a fire alarm goes when I'm in a shop either it will have had a "we are testing the fire alarms, continue as normal" message, or you just get out...

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