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To be petrified after fire training at work?

(28 Posts)
shouldnthavesaid Fri 24-Jul-15 12:07:42

I work in a hospital and the thought of how difficult it would be to get everyone out in a fire has always been at the back of my mind. Yesterday we had training including the use of evacuation pads for stairs, and fire extinguishers etc. It was effective training - when I got back to my workplace I was conscious of making a mental note of where all our equipment is - but it was grim. Being told how to get paralysed people, etc on to ski pads , how long you can wait behind a fire door, or how to prioritise who should be saved first.. It's not a pleasant thought at all. One of the ladies training with me was an ex ward sister and said she used to have frequent sleepless nights at the thought of it.

I've had a Google and big fires look relatively rare - but it's bloody frightening. My workplace is at maximum 4 floors above ground, minimum 2 (built on a hill) so not easy.

Can anyone reassure me that this is all worst case scenario stuff and not very likely to happen? I struggled to fall asleep last night as mind was churning!

RealityCheque Fri 24-Jul-15 12:10:51

Of course it isn't likely.

That said, it is good to be scared. Fear keeps you safe and will hopefully make you more risk aware.

orangefive Fri 24-Jul-15 12:15:35

All buildings are designed to standards to minimise fire risk and to ensure everyone has a safe route out, etc, etc. All you can do is be aware of the risks. Keep an eye out for fire doors being blocked and if you are anxious perhaps write down some scenarios and how you will manage. Hospitals in particular will havemeticulously planned fire rated doors and walls to provide safe routes etc. Perhaps you could ask to see the fire strategy and plans from head office.

orangefive Fri 24-Jul-15 12:17:41

Having said that whenever I enter any large or complex buildings I always check for safe exits, etc.

Yarp Fri 24-Jul-15 12:21:09

It's really unlikely

They have smoke alarms, sprinklers etc etc. They send out 8 about engines (not exact number) as soon as an alarm goes.

I went to similar training when I worked in a hospital

WeShouldOpenABar Fri 24-Jul-15 12:21:38

I was terrified after my training, the videos of real fires were horrific.

I went and bought all my family members extra smoke alarms, the trainer reckoned most household deaths from fires are caused when the fire starts upstairs (usually electrical ) and there are no smoke alarms upstairs.

Now everyone in my family has them and i can feel a little better

Yarp Fri 24-Jul-15 12:23:23

We are told the other major risk for home fires is recharging overnight. Avoid doing it. Make sure you have the correct charger (not a cheap one - e-cigarettes are the worst)

SideOrderofChips Fri 24-Jul-15 12:33:05

I worked in a 12 floor hospital. I had the same training.

I didn't sleep either for ages

shouldnthavesaid Fri 24-Jul-15 12:41:03

They are in the process of upgrading the smoke alarm system at the moment, which is partly why we were sent for urgent training. They've said once that's sorted things will be a lot safer. I think it's just the images that your mind conjures up.

I am thinking of safer practices - for example, limiting the amount of aerosol cleaners we chuck in cupboards and keeping everything meticulously tidy. Also being very vigilant about smoking although we are already.

The only big concern for me is our laundry and rubbish disposal - which is kept in a cupboard with a massive electric computer thing with about 300 wires (no exaggeration, its about 6 foot tall) and a shaft from floor 9 to basement 2 that's sometimes kept open (I don't think it should be). But they are again , reviewing that practice too.

PurpleCrazyHorse Fri 24-Jul-15 13:10:45

I'd report the laundry cupboard to the Trust's Fire Safety Officer, you will have one in a hospital. They should come out and assess the risk.

BettyCatKitten Fri 24-Jul-15 13:17:44

I work nights in a care home and we have to log a detailed fire/evacuation plan as part of our regulations. The alarm has gone off in the night before, all staff stuck to the plan and we evacuated everyone efficiently and safely and 3 appliances turned up within 10 minutes. It was bloody frightening, I was running on adrenaline, it's amazing how quick you react when it happens. It sounds like you are being very vigilant and have taken on board all advice. I can't recall any big fires in hospitals in recent times, so practices must be effective.

frankie001 Fri 24-Jul-15 13:27:34

Agree although unlikely it is scary. I'm in itu so would be last ward to be evacuated. But fire doors, as long as used properly do their job.

x2boys Fri 24-Jul-15 14:53:04

i worked in a hospital for yrs have had similar training they also have those big fire resistant doors that take is it 30 mins to burn so hopefully any fire should be contained.

lollilou Fri 24-Jul-15 14:53:22

I watched a video of a nightclub fire a few years back and became obsessed. It was just so frightening and very sad.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 24-Jul-15 14:56:54

In a decent, modern building, in the well populated area the fire fighters will be there so quickly that they will be in charge before you know it.

The nightclub fire video (was it the one in the US?) was horrifying but they were breaking ALL the rules.

Yarp Fri 24-Jul-15 14:59:48

I remember the training we had (about 15 years ago now) being a bit heavy on dire warnings - long spiel about the Hillsborough Fire etc, which was not at all relevant.

Yarp Fri 24-Jul-15 15:00:33

.... bloody horrible and tragic, I mean (sorry that sounded dismissive)

Fluffyears Fri 24-Jul-15 15:06:31

I'm terrified of fire. Out of interest what do they do if a fire breaks out but they are in the middle of performing surgery how does that work?

FadedRed Fri 24-Jul-15 15:07:37

Fire training is supposed the scare the bejaysus out of you, so job done! grin
Having said that, hospital fires are rare and getting less likely as older buildings are removed or upgraded. But, as pp's have said, safety needs to be at the forefront of people's thinking and never be afraid to bring anything you consider might be a hazard to the attention of your fire safety people.
I have had to 'break the glass' three times in 8 years as a night sister in a fairly modern hospital unit, but only once had to evacuate a ward, (to behind a further set of fire doors, not outside the building) and it went ok, no one injured or more than mildly inconvenienced.
What amazed and horrified me was the stupidity of some staff, who had received the same training and seemed to have not taken any of the messages in. So bear that in mind if you ever find yourself in a fire situation- keep your head and don't expect everyone else to!
If the situation arises -I'm sure you'll be up to it! What is they say in Watchdog? Don't have nightmares!.

maz210 Fri 24-Jul-15 15:09:45

Lollilou - was it the Rhode Island station club video? My husband was shown this during fire brigade training, really horrific stuff. It bothered me for ages after I watched it. I still check all fire exits if I'm in a crowded place such as theatres etc, and make a mental note of which ones are going to be less likely to be used.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 24-Jul-15 15:10:35

So bear that in mind if you ever find yourself in a fire situation- keep your head and don't expect everyone else to! So very true. I had a manager, who BTW had taken the shift leader job over me after I had been offered it, turn to me and say, "what should we do" when the fire alarms went off in a shelter. I had to organize everyone, evacuate, tell someone to call 911, get the clients out of the way of the door. People turn into blithering idiots in emergencies.

ineedabodytransplant Fri 24-Jul-15 15:18:12

Shouldnthavesaid, to help put your mind at ease a tad....'the cupboard with a massive electric computer thing with about 300 wires (no exaggeration, its about 6 foot tall) is called an equipment rack. It's where the network cables for all the systems in the building end up. All very low voltage so not a particular concern..

lollilou Fri 24-Jul-15 15:23:45

Maz yes that's the one. Horrible. I just couldn't stop reading everything about it. I also made Dh and teen dcs watch it too.

starfishmummy Fri 24-Jul-15 15:29:03

Ds was in hospital at a time when they were receiving some credible bomb threats. I was very impressed at the preparations that were made in case they needed to evacuate. I wasn't so keen knowing ds would be last out, but the escape route involved stairs and he had to be kept flat for several days post surgery. Luckily it was not needed.

Yogasuz Fri 24-Jul-15 15:34:12

It's good that you take it seriously, unfortunately lots of people don't and then panic / cause more issues with wrong actions when things do go wrong.

Depending on the standard of fire doors you have installed (they should be certified) we use 2hr fire resistant fire doors in a general office.

Your FM/Estates people will have a fire risk assessment which should document all known risks, what they are doing about them (eg the new system you mention) and when they are completed. For government sites this is usually completed annually as a fresh report or reviewed as a minimum. There should also be a fire strategy document which is what you got a taster of on your session.

Not sure if you are allowed to ask to see them in your workplace (although the fire risk assessment is a legal document that must be provided to 'relevant' parties which you could certainly argue you are! We have to provide them to any staff who ask to view them) and unfortunately they can show that some organisations don't always deal with risks they potentially should due to budgets and inconvenience of works.

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