Don’t be victim of false security

We were stunned by the number of people ignoring the alarm and continuing to go about their business.

A firefighter’s biggest enemy may not be smoke or flames. A firefighter’s biggest enemy may well be apathy.

Last week was fire prevention week. Oak Bay firefighters were out at schools and municipal buildings making sure kids know how to exit safely, making sure employees know how to use a fire extinguisher.

Our own Athlone Court building had fire alarm testing done that week as well. All day we heard the bells chime, chime, chime, then stop for a while, only to begin again later.

The silence was golden when it was all over.

Just two days later, around 11 a.m., the fire bell began to ring again. More of the same, we thought. But the bell continued to chime.

We stepped out into the hallway, as others had done. We looked around, we smelled the air. We watched as the building manager began to inspect the area. A false alarm it seemed. Then we left our office.

We walked down the stairs into the parking lot to mingle with the dozen or so others who had also left the building. We chatted, joked and waited for the fire department to come. It was a nice day in the sun, not too chilly. The company was good. We talked of knitting and theorized about what was causing the alarm. Most of the people waiting with us were employees of Fairway Market, which had escorted customers out and closed its doors.

As we watched the firefighters begin their inspection of the building, we decided to take a walk around and see what was happening out front.

We were stunned by the number of people ignoring the alarm and continuing to go about their business.

Yes, this was a false alarm, triggered accidentally. But fire, especially in an office or apartment building, is not always obvious. It can be lurking under the roof, in the walls or even in the underground parking.

False alarms can lull us into a false sense of security. Don’t consider a few minutes spent in the sun, meeting new people, ensuring your personal safety a waste of time. Consider it an investment in your future.

 

Just Posted

Victoria seventh most youth-friendly Canadian city: national index

B.C. capital tops YouthfulCities’ education and creative arts categories

Canucks host pre-season game, training camp in Victoria

Practices to be open to the public; Game against Calgary Flames set for Sept. 16

ArtsAlive voting begins Thursday in Oak Bay

Residents can vote for the 2019 ArtsAlive top prize

Juan de Fuca Marine Trail re-opens after lengthy repairs

The trail has been closed since February

Saanich resident to carry NDP banner against local MP Elizabeth May

Sabine Singh will accept nomination Saturday at Saanich Commonwealth Place

VIDEO: Oak Bay mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of inquest into overdose death

Jury to make recommendations based on death of Elliot Eurchuk, 16

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Mini-horse visits residents at Lower Mainland care home

Gunner turned a visit with grandpa into a major event for everyone at the residence

Women sue former Vancouver cop over alleged sexual abuse during pimp case

Two women claim James Fisher caused psychological trauma during the Reza Moazami investigation

First ever Indigenous person to join the RCMP to be honoured in B.C.

Hawk Kelly said becoming a Mountie was his dream job as a kid

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Dash-cam video in trial of accused B.C. cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Most Read