Consider the following scenario:
The lights are out, it is totally dark and you can’t see. You smell smoke and there is a fire. You must evacuate and escape. Now close your eyes for 10 seconds and mentally find your way to safety. Did you remember that doorway? That wall? That step? That desk? That machine? Other obstacles? Were you able to negotiate your way to safety?
Would you be able to find your way to safety at home? At work? In a hotel? On an airplane? At a conference? At a clients office? In a movie theatre?
We must at all times take responsibility for our own safety as well as those around us. The two greatest safety tools that you have are:
- Awareness: we must always be conscious of our surroundings and be ready to react to changes.
- Knowledge: know how to respond when an unexpected safety situation arises. We may know where we are right now, but do we know where we are going – in an emergency?
A good method to increase your chance of survival is to COUNT before the emergency occurs. Count doors, count steps, count seats, count the number of floors above ground you are on, the flights of stairs, and so on.
Work / Home: walk your exit route to count steps, doors, and floors that will lead you to safety.
Hotels: walk the fire route and count the doors and recesses to your exit route.
Planes / Theaters: count seats or rows to your emergency exit.
Other: count your way to a safe exit whenever you enter a room or building.
Many of us travel for work and pleasure and spend a considerable amount of time in unfamiliar surroundings.