We found this story in the press recently about a lollipop man in Luton blocking a fire engine on its way to an emergency in order to help children across the road.
Lollipop men and fire fighters are both public servants doing an important job. A lollipop man prevents disasters by ensuring children can cross the road safely, but fire fighters attend emergencies as they occur.
In terms of risk assessment – if the lollipop man is prevented from doing his job then children are delayed at the side of the road. If a fire engine is prevented from getting to an emergency, lives and property are at risk. This means the fire fighters should get priority in this situation.
A fire can start unexpectedly and spread very quickly. The situation can get more and more unpredictable and out of control the longer it is left which is why the emergency services are set up to respond so quickly – from the 999 emergency services number, fire stations run by full time fire fighters or temporary fire fighters strategically throughout the country, engines with sirens with a range of equipment on those engines that enable them to respond to whatever awaits them.
As a society it is best that we all do our bit. We have no idea what situation the engine is going to but we can assume it is best they get there as quickly as possible and all we need to do is move to one side for a few seconds.
As a business owner you can do your bit to reduce your reliance on the emergency services who should be a last line of defence only – proper risk assessments will show you the best defences and where to put them. Fire extinguishers will give your staff the opportunity to nip any small blazes in the bud and to clear any escape routes that may be hampered by flames. Appropriate fire detection will give you the opportunity to find blazes before they get out of control or at least to get all people from the premises before fire can cause them harm.
If you would like advice on this then please feel free to contact us today.