Thursday, October 20, 2011

Escape routes

When I checked in, I did what us risk types usually do and checked out the location of the stairs to and from the main floor and exits from the building.  Though most hotels provide a map with exits marked out on the back of the hotel door, I like to perform this operation in hotels and with other locations where I am unfamiliar with the layout of exits and stairwells.  In emergency management lingo, we call this "situational awareness."

I've been doing this for so long that it seems routine, and does not take long.  You could pick up this habit for yourself starting any time you're in a large building with more than one floor.

In case you cannot walk down and out of a building because of smoke and heat from a fire, the back of your door should tell you to shelter in place, putting wet towels at the bottom of the door and staying low in the room until the firefighters arrive.

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