So, I’ve hit the shops for a much needed coffee catchup with a great friend. Day two of school and no desperate phone calls, yet! It’s midday what could possibly go wrong?
I get close to the coffee shop, close enough to smell the aroma and a very loud alarm starts up. Now I have to admit curiosity wins over panic for me. I glanced first at shop attendees and saw no response to the alarm. I’m not kidding, everyone carried on serving customers therefore I assumed that I’d missed a pre-warning that it was a drill. Well it wasn’t a drill, it was the real think. After way too many minutes ignoring the sirens shops started shutting down then came a booming voice over the loud speaker to EVACUATE NOW.
Still people were super relaxed, not really taking it seriously but eventually headed for the exits. Even from outside I could see customers standing around inside waiting to be told it’s a false alarm!
There are a few too many issues here. Lucky the all clear was sounded and I got my coffee. What if it wasn’t though? What if a small fire was now raging out of control? What if there had been an explosion at the other end or a terrorist attack?
From what I saw today the what ifs are very clear the mortality and injury rate, the chaos and confusion would have been unnecessarily high and all because we here in Perth seem to still hold on to the Australian attitude of
“She’ll be right, mate!”
First is first, staff need response training. We customers look to them as a first point of guidance in an emergency. Continuing to serve drinks while alarms are blaring just tells customers there’s nothing to worry about.
Lucky for us today was a false alarm, next time may not be so lucky!
Would you immediately react to a siren or hang around to check it out? Go on, be honest.