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Social Media Increases Fire Threat
Recent examples of which can be seen at a Red Hot Chilli Pipers Gig in South Ayrshire. A fire alarm went off during a packed festive fanfare with an evacuation procedure that took an estimated 15 minutes to complete.

Revellers described the process as “organised chaos”; alarms could not be heard over the band playing and once the crowds did start to vacate they gathered on the street outside resulting in doorway blockages which slowed others attempting to get out.

Potentially a disastrous scenario, the incident is now being investigated by the local council.

Thankfully this was a false alarm and no one was hurt but serves to exemplify that large gatherings of people equal severe health and safety threats, even when ‘properly’ co-ordinated.

What if an event is not ‘properly’ organised or the scale and volume of people has not been considered?

This is where Social Media plays a part. Only a handful of weeks ago, we saw the full scale of catastrophe which can take place within a building, further afield in Oakland. A total of 36 people tragically lost their lives when a warehouse being used as a large-scale dwelling caught fire. National Fire Protection Association President Jim Pauley said in a statement at the time.

"In Oakland, the changing occupancy of that building may have only been known to those who lived or worked there, not to the fire service or other officials," he said. "This is likely a scenario happening in other places around the country.

The ability to attract large numbers of people to an unknown venue is easy through new ways of social media. Couple that with the rate of speed, things can go from bad to worse when there are blocked or not enough exits and lots of combustibles."

Landlords, business owners, building managers, facilities and estates directors are all accountable when it comes to life safety in their premises. It is essential you remain compliant and know the true risk attached to your building.David Burns of South Ayrshire Council echoes this when he commented on the Red Hot Chilli Pipers gig, ‘Although the event organisers are ultimately responsible for health and safety during their event, we need to ensure that our facilities remain fit for purpose’.

Reducing false alarms and managing real ones correctly is essential. Social media being used to attract larger numbers to an event should simply be positive. Make sure this is the case. Keep your business premises compliant and ready for the unexpected.

If anything within this article resonates with you or you simply require reassurance that your building is in safe hands. Do not hesitate to give us a call 0345 4592300 or email

Drax Services have been successfully providing independent alarm management supply and maintenance solutions for the last twenty years.

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