In Case of Fire

Fire Drill

The corps will from time to time hold a fire drill and this may be during a worship meeting.

As no register is taken of people attending meetings, members of the congregation are requested to be vigilant about people sitting around them—especially the vulnerable—and check that they are at the assembly point.

Fire bellDespite the picture on the left, the fire alarm is not a bell. It sounds similar to a police car’s wailing siren. The sounding alarm is complemented by a flashing red light on the wall behind the Songsters and elsewhere in the building.

If you are not familiar with exit routes, please consult the fire notices on display throughout the hall (reproduced below).

When the alarm sounds, leave quickly and orderly; do not run; do not stop to collect belongings.

Go to the assembly point, which is in Florence Close (NOT Florence Gardens). Nobody may re-enter the building after a fire alarm evacuation until told it is safe to do so. In the case of a drill the authorised person will be the commanding officer. In the case of real fire, it is a member of the fire brigade.

An aerial view of the hall showing above escape routes:

Aerial view of escape routes

A fire drill took place during the morning meeting of July 15th 2007. It had been announced the previous week that this would happen in a future Sunday morning meeting. Few thought it would be the very next week. The alarm sounded at about 10:15, just as a song, during which the children had left for Rocks, was concluding.Amid the sound of the final chord of the song it took a couple of seconds before everyone realised what exactly was happening. At first, some thought the noise of the alarm was a mobile phone, some a hearing aid and others feedback on the PA system. A quick glance at the wall where the red light was flashing confirmed it was indeed the fire alarm and as other sounds subsided the sound became clearer. Major Noel said “It was good to see everybody standing up as one and leaving in an orderly fashion”.

Extra copies of the fire plan had appeared since the previous week and notices directing people to the assembly point had been erected. So the observant may have guessed it was the day. Fire marshals (sadly this time without high-visibility vests) took up their positions and everyone gathered in Florence Close.

Many of the Salvationists thought this would be a good opportunity for an open-air meeting. It could have been because some of the congregation managed to salvage Bibles, song books and even musical instruments!

As a precaution staff at the fire station opposite the hall were told what was happening in case they got a call. Reflecting on that, it would have added realism if they had pulled a couple of fire engines out of the station across the road to sit outside the hall!!

After a very successful drill, Major Wright invited people to return to the hall. To help the congregation to return to an attitude of worship the band played a hymn tune. “Send the Fire”!