Make Sure You Know What Your Facility Does When A Smoke Alarm Goes Off!
One would think that most senior facilities have a plan in place in the event of a fire. In a large building I would expect an intercom system that could alert all the residents about what is going on in a quick orderly fashion. That is not what happened yesterday where my mom is. The fire alarm went off around 6:00pm and remained on making noise for about 15 minutes. It was extremely loud as you might imagine in a five story building.
We began asking other people in the hall about it as well as some caregivers on the floor and nobody had any idea what was going on. There was nobody giving anyone information and there also seemed to be no rush or concern from anyone. That might make you think it was a false alarm right? It was not. There was in fact a small fire or perhaps some smoke from a candle as is now being explained, on the third floor. How I found out was by going downstairs to the front reception area and asking the women there what was going on. I asked her if there was a fire and she responded "yes". I asked her why nobody knew anything and she had no answer. Other family members were upset as well and were asking questions.
My mom was so stressed out from fear and of course the very very loud noise as I assume other elderly people were. I expected to hear an announcement telling everyone to stay in their room or not to worry etc. So the next day, I expected to receive an email or call from the executive director explaining what happened. So far, nothing. I have no idea what actually happened and why nobody was given any information. I have many concerns at this point about the standard procedures for this type of thing. What if it is not a small fire next time and something much bigger? When we moved in there I never thought to ask how those types of things are handled. I will be talking to them in person tomorrow to find out what happened and what the procedures are going forward. This is something important to know when choosing a facility because you want to know mom or dad will be taken care of. Who will take them outside or to a safe place and how will they be informed of what is going on quickly?