June 2015 – Maybe it is all about Education…

JunctionSquare01I’m working in a small shopping centre. About 100 shops, a supermarket and some fast food restaurants. Four floors, a number of escalators and two lifts.

I’m teaching future journalists at a school at 4th floor. About 80 students in total, three teachers and ten other employees. A couple of classrooms, two studios, a library, and some offices.

It was around 11:00 in the morning, when the fire alarm went off. Everybody left the classroom and offices. A bit of smoke was in the hallways. Two staircases were just near. What did the students do? The were queuing up at the lifts. About 80 students, two lifts for 10 persons each – and many other persons in the shopping mall, maybe waiting for the lifts as well.

JunctionSquare02I was trying to tell them, that lifts should never be used in case of fire (-alarm), that lift can be deadly traps. I asked them to take the stairs. Only four floors down and they are safe. Just a handful did it. All the others marvelled at the smoke and patiently waited for the lift to come.

The fire was extinguished quickly. It was a cable-fire (I hope they didn’t try with water…). The students came back to classrooms. In a serious situation some of them might have been trapped in the lift and died.