An Oklahoma City TV station became the focus of news stories nationwide last summer after its fire alarm went off during a live broadcast. The sound of the fire alarm wasn’t exactly newsworthy, and no, the set wasn’t dramatically engulfed in flames. What made the story interesting was the fact that no one knew what to do. The news team stayed in their seats for a full minute before receiving word it was a false alarm. They then proceeded with their newscast for another two minutes until the fire alarm was finally silenced. Check out the video below.
So what should the news team have done when the fire alarm went off?
“Evacuate!” says Terry Flanagan, Director of Fire and Safety Training at ABCO Fire Protection. He notes that the station should have had an Emergency Action Plan in place so everyone knew what to do. Such a plan designates what action to take in the event of an emergency, which in the event of a fire is typically to evacuate the building to a pre-determined location. The Plan may also dedicate special tasks to certain employees, such as fire suppression or performing a head count of personnel to ensure everyone got out of the building safely.
“Your natural instinct may be to investigate the situation to find out what’s going on,” says Flanagan, “but unless you have been assigned a special role in your company’s Emergency Action Plan, you should evacuate the building and immediately head to a pre-determined assembly area.”
What if your company doesn’t have an Emergency Action Plan?
Flanagan says “You’ve got to have it, it’s an OSHA requirement.”
For more information about Emergency Action Plans and preparedness training, contact ABCO Fire Protection at 800-875-7200. For the complete news story, click here.