Friday, August 4, 2006


Have you ever stopped to think what is your emergency response plan in different scenarios? 

This morning, the fire alarm in our house went off at 5:21am.  Now, just the fact that I know exactly what time the alarm went off probably means that my head was not in "erp" mode.  I mean, my first instinct was to look at the clock.  Worse yet, Brian's first instinct was to go back to sleep!  I actually had to wake him up and say, "Brian!  That's our fire alarm going off!".

So, at that point, Brian bolted out of bed and headed for the door.  At some point the realization that he was in his underwear kicked in and he came back into the room and grabbed his shorts!  If there were a 5-alarm fire in your house, would you care if you were standing outside in your underwear?!  Actually, you're right.  I probably would!  I mean, we didn't smell or see smoke and it wasn't unusually hot in the house, so I guess we weren't REALLY in panic mode.

In the meantime, I was searching through the closet for my dressing gown (I was also in my underwear) and at the same time, my biggest worry was Nikita and what the sound of that piercing alarm was doing to her ears!  So as soon as I was dressed, I ushered the dog out the back door.  I don't know why I went out the back, considering our front door is 5 steps from our bedroom!  But I sat down one one of our chairs on the deck while Brian investigated.  No, I did not proceed to the yard, our of harms way - I sat on a deck chair - with the dog - on the deck - which is attached to our house - which could have been going up in flames!

Brian's first instinct was to go downstairs and wake up our tenant.  This was probably a good thing.  After he got the tenant up and saw that he was ok and the basement suite was ok, he went back into the house and found that nothing was on fire.  He then turned off the alarms.

Brian was able to fall right back asleep after that, but I, of course, wasn't.  I was doing a post-mortem in my head of all the things we did wrong and how we could have met a grizzly death had there really been a fire.  It has made me think that maybe it was time to sit down and work out details of an emergency response plan for several scenarios - fire, earthquake, etc.  It should be brainless, right?  The way you react in an emergency should be a reaction that doesn't require thought (because who knows whether you have time to think when you are panicked?!).  I would think that you need a plan in order to do that.

Which brings me back to my original question - Have you ever stopped to think what is your emergency response plan in different scenarios?


Anonymous said...

DATE: 8/4/2006 9:17:40 PM
Funny you should mention that! Living through a house fire that destroyed everything I owned and living with a paid on call Fireman, the answer to your question would be big YES!!! : )

Anonymous said...

DATE: 8/4/2006 9:44:50 PM
Hey Yvandop,

You are process oriented so it doesn't surprise me that you sat back and re-evaluated the best way to deal with a fire instead of just going back to sleep (I'd have taken the sleep option)

By next week I expect to see an ERD diagram outlining how you will deal with fires alarms in the future :).