Whenever first responders arrive at a fire scene the question is always: How many are inside? When This past Friday night when Oakland Fire Fighters arrived at the repurposed warehouse turned entertainment complex that was ablaze, they must have been overwhelmed by that question. The enormous building had been tricked out with a maze of installation art and cluttered setups that many think exacerbated a horrible situation. Turns out the place had been the subject of complaints about health/safety violations that were already under investigation by code enforcement officials. The next time you are frustrated by how much regulation you endure, think of how many tragedies are avoided by following those codes.
If anything comes from this horrible event, you should at least consider how prepared you are for a potential disaster. If you haven’t already, you should craft an emergency plan for your managers and staff to follow. It’s not something you need to review daily, but it should be a part of your staff orientation and be a subject you cover with your managers regularly. Identify the steps you want managers to make in advance, post those steps and make sure your team understands and even practices their response. It might not seem like it while you are preparing, but this is your best defense against any emergency situation can literally be the difference between life and death.