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September 2, 2004
Action to take when entering any place of public assembly
Here are some tips for ensuring your personal safety when entering a building
in which large numbers of people are gathered.

Before you enter, take a good look
Does the building appear to be in a condition that makes you feel comfortable?
Is the main entrance wide and does it open outward to allow easy exit?

When you enter, locate all your exits
Like on an airplane, identify the location of all available exits from the
building. Are they clearly marked and well lit? Human instinct is to exit the
way you came in; but always be aware of at least one alternate exit and be
prepared to use the exit closest to you, as you may not be able to use the main

Check for clear exit paths
Make sure aisles are wide enough and not obstructed or blocked. Are there at
least two clearly marked exits?

Do you feel safe?
Does the building appear to be overcrowded? Are there fire sources such as
candles burning, pyrotechnics, or other heat sources that may make you feel
unsafe? Are there safety systems in place such as sprinklers, smoke alarms and
fire extinguishers? If you have concerns, report them to the building
management, and leave if you don't feel safe.

During an emergency, react immediately
If an alarms sounds, or you see any indication of smoke or fire, immediately
exit the building in a calm and orderly fashion. Use the closest exit, even if
it is not the main exit.

Get out and stay out
Once you have escaped, stay out and move away from the building. This allows
others to exit safely and firefighters to enter. Under no circumstances should
you ever go back into a burning building. Let trained firefighters conduct
rescue operations.

Remain calm
If the building alarm sounds or you see smoke or fire, calmly make your way
towards an exit. Once safely outside, make sure someone calls 9-1-1.

Have a communication plan
Identify a relative or friend beforehand to contact in case of an emergency and
you are separated from family or friends.

Plan a meeting place
Pick a meeting place outside to meet family or friends. If there is an
emergency, be sure to meet them there.

For further information or to report a concern, contact Toronto Fire Services
Fire Prevention Offices:

Fire Prevention - East Office: 338-9250
Fire Prevention - North Office: 338-9150
Fire Prevention - South Office: 338-9350
Fire Prevention - West Office: 338-9450

Media contact:
Captain David Sheen, Toronto Fire Services, Public Information Officer,
416-338-9317, Pager: 416-468-9978, Cell: 416-578-4316



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