So today we had a scheduled fire drill. We’d had a memo out about two weeks ago, to advise us that, yes, we have to evacuate this small office tower.
The alarm went off, I’m right next to the rear emergency exit door, so I zipped down all the stairs quickly while it was still empty, because I’ve got some nasty road rash from crashing my bike and wanted to get down all the stairs without bending my knee. That’s easier to do when there’s no one else taking the stairs and you can use both railings.
By the time I got from the top floor to about the third, there were a few people in front of me (hey, I’m not that fast). They got to a door marked EXIT, but it didn’t open, so they continued down to the basement. That’s a dead end. This door was the one marked “EXIT” with two different signs, don’t ignore that! But I’m not pitting those office workers who went against thier good instincts when the door didn’t seem right. It wasn’t their fault.
I pit the fucking idiot restaurant on the first floor that had stacked crates of produce in front of the fucking fire door!!! :mad: They were stacked taller than me!
I knew the way out from past fire drills. I was also the first guy down the stairs, so I gave the door a shove and felt a little give, understood something was blocking it, and then gave it some serious muscle. I started smashing my shoulder against it over and over. Fuck me! If this had been a real fire and the stairwell was filling full of smoke this would have been really bad! After several more heave-ho smashes, I got the door opened just wide enough to fit most of the average sized adults with a bit of a squeeze. We were able to accommodate the larger folks by clearing it from the outside.
Across from the crates of produce, were crates of bottled water, also stacked illegally in the emergency exit pathway. If those idiots had stacked them the other way around, with the heavier crates of water against the fire door, I don’t think I could have gotten the door open.
The kicker?.. Yes, that’s right, there’s more… We’re in a secure building. You can’t access any floors from the rear stairwell, unless you have a swipable passcard. But your passcard is only good for your own floor. Mine is the top floor and I’m nursing a wounded knee. And if you don’t have a passcard (most employees here do not), then you can’t open any of the other doors in the stairwell.
The “security” feature evidently does not disengage when the fire alarm goes off. We were all very nearly trapped in the stairwell. :mad:
And yeah, I let the fire marshall who was present to evaluate the drill know. He looked pissed. I hope he fined those jackasses.