The NMSU Fire Department wants you to be safe in places of public assembly. It is important to know your way out of a public assembly. Here are some tips before you enter a place of public assembly, such as a restaurant or theater, take a moment to look around and familiarize yourself with the environment. Ask yourself these questions:
- Identify where the entrances and exits are to the building, where are they located?
- How wide are they? It is important that the exits can accommodate a rush of people exiting the assembly and/or look for other exits.
- What is outside of the areas you will be exiting or entering from?
Always have a communication plan and include others too in the conversation when you are with a group.
In case of emergency, you will need to contact someone or call 911. If you are with a group of people, pick a meeting place. Your friends and family can gather at this location and take accountability for each individual.
After entering, take a look around.
- Locate exits immediately and assess which ones are closer or farther away.
- Be advised that you may not always be able to use the main exits due to the fact that people might over crowd them in case of emergency due to panic. In this case it creates a dangerous pathway; another exit may need to be pursued for safety.
- Make sure that the exits you recognize have clear pathways and they are not obstructed by furniture, boxes, or other objects. If you identify an unclear path blocking an exit, you should report this violation to management immediately.
After your assessment of the public area, ask yourself if you feel safe in this environment. Does the building appear to be overcrowded? Are there heat sources, such as a fire, make you feel unsafe? Or any other hazards that might make you feel uneasy. If you have concerns make sure to address them with management. If you do not feel safe, leave immediately.
The NMSU Fire Department wants you to be safe in public places. Know your surroundings!