For Mother’s Day, my father and I like to take my mother and an aunt to a fine dining restaurant in the Connecticut countryside that features a floor to ceiling stone fireplace and panoramic view of a lush landscape. We make the rounds at the buffet, which includes an omelet station, carved filet mignon, shrimp and scallop scampi and dozens of other choices of diet-busting meals and desserts.
Once we’ve filled our plates and taken our seats in the grand ballroom, the wait staff serves us our coffee. As I look around at the other 275 diners, I can’t help but wonder if we could all exit in an orderly fashion if there was a fire emergency and whether or not everyone knows their second way out if the front door becomes blocked as NFPA’s escape planning information advises.
NFPA’s Safety in Places of Public Assembly tips sheet is also a great resource and says the following:
- Before you enter a building, take a good look. Does the building appear to be in a good condition that makes you feel comfortable?
- Have a communications plan. Identify a relative or friend to contact in case of emergency and you are separated from family or friends.
- Plan a meeting place. Pick a meeting place outside to meet family or friends with whom you are attending the function.
The tips sheet also provides details on what to do when you enter the building and how to handle an emergency.