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Fire alarm in hotel

(15 Posts)
PhDPepper Thu 02-Nov-17 12:03:47

Aibu to think if the fire alarm goes off in a hotel you leave?

I’m talking, lights, sirens, ‘evacuate evacuate’.

Because we got out and it was only at the point of a fireman going up the stairs shouting for people to leave that people started taking it seriously, we got to reception and I’d say 75% of people had stayed in their rooms.

There wasn’t a fire, but over the loud speaker they did say to evacuate in lots of languages, the lights in our room came on with the alarm. You couldn’t miss it.

I think I’m just a bit shocked that up until the point where people were told by a person that the hotel was on fire no one took much notice.

People stopped to get coffee, or get dressed. I just left the room in my pjs and grabbed our passports in case.

Anyway. I’m rambling, Aibu to be surprised that not many people reacted to a very loud, very real fire alarm in a massive hotel in a big city? Do you think they’d have reacted quicker if the sprinklers were on? I did check and there are sprinklers in each room and in every corridor, which was actually quite reassuring if I’m honest

Phosphorus Thu 02-Nov-17 12:09:20

I think people are so used to hearing tests/dry runs at work/school/supermarkets etc. that they just don't react.

I think sprinklers would definitely make them move. grin

I'd have left straight away though, alarms of all kinds alarm me greatly.

Rawhh Thu 02-Nov-17 12:09:46

In my experience of working in hotels the lack of evacuation is completely normal. We had an instance during dinner service when there was a fire all staff exited saying "this is not a test, evacuate no" hardly anyone was bizarre.

Lules Thu 02-Nov-17 12:17:33

I once got incredibly drunk by myself on the last day of a conference. In my defence it was run by mormons so there had been no alcohol all week. The fire alarm in the hotel went off and in my drunken state I thought the only logical thing to do was to die in a fire rather than leave my room and demonstrate my drunkenness to the other conference attendees.

Luckily it was a false alarm but it wasn't my greatest decision making process. So yeah leaving is a good idea.

JumpingJellybeanz Thu 02-Nov-17 12:17:38

YABU for being surprised.

I used to work in a hypermarket and there was serious fire in the roof. The alarms went off and the announcement was saying over and over again 'leave the shop immediately, this is not a drill' but customers were refusing to leave and arguing with security personnel. One woman was furious because her shopping was on the belt and it would only take a few minutes to put it through. Others panicked and left everything behind, including their kids. It was certainly an education into how the general public operate in these kind of situations.

BlackBanana Thu 02-Nov-17 12:20:19

Too many practices mean people don't take it seriously. I must have heard thousands of alarms go off in my time, but I've never been in an actual fire.
Makes you not think about the reality of it.

NotCitrus Thu 02-Nov-17 12:21:42

I was in a supermarket when the alarm went, asked a nearby worker if it was the fire alarm and they said 'dunno', another shrugged at me - dcs and I toddled round a bit more and I thought it would be an idea to leave because of the noise, when an apoplectic deputy manager burst in and screamed at his staff to get all the customers out.
A week later the deputy manager was the new manager!

I used to work somewhere where 800 people had to be able to evacuate in under 2 minutes, and actually had fires every few months as well as alarms, plus 6-monthly fire training including harrowing videos of Bradford football stadium, Woolworths' fire, Kings Cross etc. Result is I get very scared when my office colleagues stroll down stairs casually when there' s an alarm.

People go on autopilot and won't change what they are doing - pushing past Tube staff who are trying to get people out of stations happens daily.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 02-Nov-17 12:22:15

IME people completely ignore fire alarms and just look around at each other until someone obviously official asks people to leave.

Ninjakittysmells Thu 02-Nov-17 12:27:59

I was in a hotel recently when the alarm went off and I was really surprised by how underprepared I was. Ds and I were in vest and pants and I had to give myself a real talking to to get my head together, get us dressed and out. I am a really sensible person usually, but because I didn’t have a plan / was out my comfort zone I was SO much more dithery than I ever thought I would be - if was scary!

Has made me realise I need an action plan for hotels now, so I’ve already decided I grab handbag and car keys, we put on coats over pjs / whatever and we get out. I was literally stood by the suitcases wondering whether to take them when it happened in real life, I genuinely don’t know what came over me.

frieda909 Thu 02-Nov-17 12:35:32

When I was in uni halls the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night at least once a week. Was always quite funny seeing the people who’d been sheepishly ordered out of their rooms, half-naked, by very angry firemen. Or even funnier, ordered out of someone else’s room. I think all the best gossip came from those weekly evacuations! grin

(Although obviously it’s a massive waste of the fire brigade’s time and I don’t blame them for being very pissed off)

meltingmarshmallows Thu 02-Nov-17 12:38:20

One went off in a hotel I was in and we were outside in 30 seconds as it was SO loud it completely terrified me when it woke me up! I was so shocked that everyone else meandered out over the next 10 mins and lots of people clearly didn’t even bother!

OhBeggerItsMorning Thu 02-Nov-17 12:49:36

I'm not that surprised, tbh. If people can't see a fire, they don't necessarily believe it is there\can hurt them, but it's the smoke that travels faster and is more dangerous, they just don't realise how much danger they might be in.

Just a couple of days ago I had to go over what happens at home if the smoke detector goes off. It rarely does, and when it does it is normally because the grill is being used and the kitchen door leading into the hall, where the detector is, has been left open, so there isn't a fire; the boys are used to it happening. Anyway, for some reason, it went off when the oven was closed and nothing was burning, for a change. None of our 4 boys responded, even to check if there was a fire.

We explained that they need to check, every time, just in case there is an emergency. It only takes one genuine, ignored alarm to cause death or serious injury.

The 16 yr old explained that he'd heard the door slammed shut so knew it was OK. (I also called out to say everything was OK after closing the door, so they knew) We said we would rather they checked, just in case, and used a 'worst case scenario' - if the oven explodes they might mistake it for a door banging, if I was at the oven I might be injured so can't tell them it's a genuine emergency, yada, yada, yada. I would rather they checked and it wasn't a fire, than they didn't check and it was. If there is a fire then a few extra seconds to get out of the house could save their lives, now they understand a bit better.

Gumbo Thu 02-Nov-17 12:51:05

I work away and stay in hotels pretty much every week. I've lost count of how many times fire alarms have gone off in the middle of the night normally caused by foreigners returning to their rooms late at night and thinking it's a great plan to try to cook something on the iron/trouserpress/kettle . I used to evacuate immediately but have become blase over the years and now only amble downstairs if the alarm is still going off after about 10 minutes...

HarmlessChap Thu 02-Nov-17 13:01:11

YANBU it amazes me too.

I once worked in an office in a shared biilding where the alarm went off regularly and nobody moved. Even so they still tested the alarm at 10:30 every Friday, which was great if you had to call an awkward customer. Ring them at 10:25 and you knew that 5 minutes in you could cut the call short as the fire alarm is going.

GoEasyPudding Thu 02-Nov-17 13:16:02

I saw a tv doc that studied fire safety and some of the worst fire related disasters over the years. The main conclusions were that the public firstly ignore the alarm and secondly do not use fire exits and instead leave the way they came.
The very next day i was in a large shopping centre at the very top and the alarm went off with an additional voice telling everyone to leave. Just like the documentary no one reacted. We went to the nearest fire exit doors leading to stairs but noticed as a bottle neck formed down in the foyer everyone tried to leave via the main thoroughfare and via the escalators.

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