Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Oh the complications

The European Parliament is having a fire drill. Nothing contentious in that. But nothing is as simple as it seems. Somebody has sent me the details.
What happens?
· An alarm will begin ringing, area by area, triggering immediately the intervention of security personnel who will move to the affected zone:
· The evacuation will proceed by zone;
· NB: The evacuation exits will open; the fire doors will close automatically;
· The smoke extraction system will switch on automatically.

What to do?

At the sound of the alarm:
· take only your personal belongings;
· when leaving your office, close the windows and doors without locking them;
· do not use the elevators or service lifts;
· follow the green arrow markings leading to the staircase and the evacuation route until you have left the building;
· do not under any circumstances turn back;
· once outside the buildings, assemble in the places indicated by the security staff.

N.B: Persons with reduced mobility will be taken care of on a floor by floor basis by the security staff.
Well that is all pretty clear. So what could be the problem?
Dear Mr President,

I would like to thank you for informing us about the evacuation exercise that will take place in the coming days.

As the first deaf member of the European Parliament I would like to draw your attention to the fact that due to my hearing impairment I am afraid, I won't hear the alarm ringing. Therefore I would be more than happy to consult the body responsible for the accessibility of the Parliament's alarm system, in order to find a common solution and all disabled people working in the European Parliament can feel comfortable in the case of a real danger.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Suggestions as to how to deal with this have ranged from the caustic,
A perfect emblem of what is wrong with society: systems are no substitute for people in making others comfortable.
Indignant, Cheltenham
To the caring
Surely a red flag-waving fireman could be assigned to him at all times he's in the building, ready to wave the flag in his face in the event the alarm goes off.


The Boiling Frog said...

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Unfortunately phrased?

Edward Spalton said...

Reminds me of when we put a new fire alarm system into our old, Victorian mill building. The Fire Officer thought he would test reactions and rang the bell.

All that happened was that three floors up a small window opened and a black face appeared, demanding

"What you want, mahn?"

There wasn't the fuss in those days that there would be now.

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