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Old 01-07-2013, 06:09 AM   #1
Abbeys_mom
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Our world post Auroa/Newtown

We are traveling as a family, staying at an all suite hotel that opens up to a large center lobby/atrium. We had something happen that forever changed how we react to fire alarms.

At 2am, the fire alarm sounded. DH looked out the window to the atrium and didn't see or smell anything. I looked outside and did not see anyone. We called the front desk but no one answered three calls.

Our first thought was to grab and dash. Then, DH said absolutely not. He talked in code (little ears) about the recent shooting sprees and said we should wait it out for a minute. The only reason I did was because we were right next to the stairs and we have a 4th floor balcony.

We called 911 and they said evacuate - still no sight or smell of fire. At that point, we watched the firemen enter and wander around outside, clearly not in a hurry. We did walk down and out, calmly but with a sense of urgency, and taught our daughter how to find the map and stairs.

What would you do? Are we too paranoid these days? Are we passing that on to our kids (she has no idea). A year ago I would not have given it a second thought, but now it's different.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:51 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Abbeys_mom View Post
We are traveling as a family, staying at an all suite hotel that opens up to a large center lobby/atrium. We had something happen that forever changed how we react to fire alarms.

At 2am, the fire alarm sounded. DH looked out the window to the atrium and didn't see or smell anything. I looked outside and did not see anyone. We called the front desk but no one answered three calls.

Our first thought was to grab and dash. Then, DH said absolutely not. He talked in code (little ears) about the recent shooting sprees and said we should wait it out for a minute. The only reason I did was because we were right next to the stairs and we have a 4th floor balcony.

We called 911 and they said evacuate - still no sight or smell of fire. At that point, we watched the firemen enter and wander around outside, clearly not in a hurry. We did walk down and out, calmly but with a sense of urgency, and taught our daughter how to find the map and stairs.

What would you do? Are we too paranoid these days? Are we passing that on to our kids (she has no idea). A year ago I would not have given it a second thought, but now it's different.
I'm sorry, I do feel you're being too paranoid if the reason you didn't evacuate was because you were worried someone pulled the fire alarm in order to get everyone outside to shoot them.

Yes, someone could decide to shoot up a random hotel. But something can also happen at a fast food restaurant, dry cleaners, grocery store, etc. In my opinion, if you're going to avoid all these places because something might happen, you shouldn't leave your home.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:54 AM   #3
Christine
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No, it hasn't changed the way I would have reacted. I would have never thought the way you did. Honestly, with large buildings such as a hotel or office building, timing matters and panic with large groups of people could ensue early. I think you could have caused yourself more danger by waiting.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:10 AM   #4
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I don't know if I was in a room on the fourth floor with a balcony I probably would have done what exactly what you did especially if I did not see fire, smell smoke, or see others leaving.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:14 AM   #5
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I don't know if I was in a room on the fourth floor with a balcony I probably would have done what exactly what you did especially if I did not see fire, smell smoke, or see others leaving.
I don't know that I'd evacuate, but it would be because I valued sleep more, not because I was worried about something (Sandy Hook, Aurora) happening.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:22 AM   #6
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I would have sent out a grownup to check, with a phone, and return or call to say, "get out of there." Calling the front desk during a possible emergency might have been a huge waste of time; if the kitchen is on fire, the front desk people are gone, especially once the firefighters arrive. Btw, everyone, you can hear gunfire that close, and it's unmistakable. I doubt a domestic terrorist(that's what I call these unbalanced folks) would take time to use a silencer. If I'm on a higher floor; I'm outta there. Fires take over buildings really fast.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:38 AM   #7
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Sorry..I am not that paranoid. 2am, I would like to think I would have gotten dressed (If I didn't see or smell anything) grabbed my keys and go sit in my car...
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Abbeys_mom View Post
Are we too paranoid these days? Are we passing that on to our kids (she has no idea). A year ago I would not have given it a second thought, but now it's different.
Yes....you're too paranoid, IMO

Also, what happens sometime when your child hears a firealarm and ignores it like you did....only it turns out to be real?
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:55 AM   #9
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I always leave when I hear a fire alarm. I was in school (grade 12) and the fire alarm went off. We all thought it was a routine drill and took our time getting outside. $4 million in damage later, I learned a lesson. I also never, ever would think someone pulled a fire alarm to get me out of the building to shoot me. What an awful way to live life.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:56 AM   #10
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I would have gotten out of the room. Fires move fast, gas leaks are dangerous, etc----odds are still such that you are at much greater risk from a fire than a domestic terrorist.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:04 AM   #11
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I'm pretty sure a hotel fire is much more likely than a hotel mass shooting.

Although prank was probably the most likely situation. But you shouldn't assume that.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbun View Post
I would have sent out a grownup to check, with a phone, and return or call to say, "get out of there." Calling the front desk during a possible emergency might have been a huge waste of time; if the kitchen is on fire, the front desk people are gone, especially once the firefighters arrive. Btw, everyone, you can hear gunfire that close, and it's unmistakable. I doubt a domestic terrorist(that's what I call these unbalanced folks) would take time to use a silencer. If I'm on a higher floor; I'm outta there. Fires take over buildings really fast.
That would be me! Except I wouldn't have sent a grown-up with the phone! There is a possibility they couldn't call you to say one way or the other. I would just assume the fire alarm is going off = evacuate. Frankly I'm WAY more terrified of a fire than a shooter. It could be because I had relatives die in a fire and I know they spread super quick! There are so many things that can give off toxic fumes if they catch on fire that it may not even be the fire that gets you. I would imagine the % of a real fire happening are higher than the % of a random shooter.

Now at 2 AM it would take me a while to get my bearings but since I don't sleep well in hotels (the first night at least) -- it wouldn't take me long to get my bearings.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:10 AM   #13
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I refuse to live in fear that around every corner some type of terrorist or crazy person is waiting to kill me.

In a hotel, the fire alarm goes off, I'm outta there!
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:16 AM   #14
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On our honeymoon 21 years ago, the fire alarm went off at our hotel in the wee hours of the morning. We laugh now about how we handled the situation because you should evacuate ASAP. Instead of immediately evacuating, we called the front desk to ask if it's a real alarm or a test. They told us they were investigating, and to use the stairs to evacuate. We quickly got dressed and exited the building. It turned out that there was a woman with some kind of mental illness ranting about various things and she pulled the alarm to "save us from the government." She thought the water in the hotel was poisoned.

You never know what the cause of a fire alarm is, but in case it is real you should evacuate to play it safe.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:58 AM   #15
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I evacuated from Tower 2 on 9/11. When I hear a fire alarm, I'm out.
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