FACTORY FIRE DRILLS
Humanity dictates measures of prevention for the safety of employes.
Self-interest justifies them in the saving that results from lower insurance rates and greater safety of property.
Think first of human life and not merely of property.
Fire-drill time should not be deducted from the wages of employes.
They could be arranged for near the dinner or closing hours.
To deduct them would be unjust.
Fire drills are aimed, not so much at the fire as at the panic usually accompanying it. They should be supervised by the local fire department or one of its officers.
Prevent the panic.
Secure orderly exit of employes, Fire drills have for their object system, order and prearranged method of exit, and should be repeated at secret and irregular intervals until employes become used to them and are not taken unprepared when lire actually breaks out.
Fire drills should aim at quick dismissal, with out going for hats or coats.
Fire drills should conclude with the continued march of the employes out of and away from the factory in different directions.
Fire drills should include practise in overcoming obstructions, to be prepared to meet them in case of actual fire.
Fire drills should be to fire-escapes as well as to exits.
Keep exits and fire-escapes always free and clear.
Assign exits to employes on different floors and stairways so as to prevent the flow of people from one floor and stairway meeting that from another.
See that exit facilities are sufficient.
Separate stairways should be provided for each floor if possible, or differtnt floors should use different stairways.
Stairways that are wide enough for two streams of people should have a stout handrail put up, so that those from one floor or section can use one and those from another the other side.
Let foremen or others act as captains on each floor, and all on that floor follow his orders.
Guards should stand on stairways and at crowded points to keep the crowd moving and render help. Searchers should look after absentees and examine rooms to see that no one is left. Some should he detailed to handle fire appliances, hose, pails and extinguishers.
Employes and occupants should be instructed to rise quietly, remove seats and benches from the aisles and get ready for the march.
Signals can come from the captain of the floor. Where this is not possible, the drill should be arranged to work from signals.
Girls and women should march in pairs and link arms to support each other and not press on the couple ahead.
Obstacles should be arranged for in fire drills to be overcome by those marching, so as to be prepared for them if fire breaks out and they actually meet them.
Alarm gongs should be installed so that the alarm can sound from a foreman’s desk on any floor. The floor signal should be sounded on all the other floors in the building, the number of strokes of the gong informing everybody on what floor the fire is. Automatic fire-alarm systems should he installed.
See that the fire alarm system works.
See that the standpipe system works Open it gradually.
Fire fighters and searchers should go quietly to their places, get the fire appliance ready and open the doors.
Building signals should connect direct with fire headquarters so that they can start at the very first signal.
hire-alarm signals should be at accessible distances, near, if possible, to a telephone, transmitting alarms throughout the entire building and showing the floor on which there is a fire.
Delay not to send the alarm in case of fire. Delay is most dangerous.
Inspect your factory system yourself. Prevention is better than cure. Inspection promotes prevention.
Keep call number of fire department in plain sight near telephone.
Some simple practical fire prevention and lighting instruction should be given.
Post printed copies of these rules in different language in clear type in conspi uous places.
Have printed, post and distribute notices, handbills or cards that a fire drill is to be introduced. Later distribute a second notice giving details about the drill, in your particular tactory. Give copies of these notices to all that they may take them home and learn them, or have them fully explained.
Distribute the final notice, giving the rules and explicit directions to be followed.
Reports should he made, from time to time, of the test drills and their success.