Last week we went to Virginia and stayed in a very nice hotel in Sterling, VA, who have very nice looking and very young looking (I must be getting old) firefighters. We were on the 5th floor of a 6 story hotel. Like I said, it was very nice. We stayed there for 3 nights and 4 days. They had a lovely pool and the employees were very sweet. On the morning of our last day, very early in the morning, the fire alarm sounded. It seems that a piece of bread caught on fire and this sounded all the alarms. Fire Department came out and turned off the alarms and we were able to go back to our rooms.
We learned many things on that "drill."
1. Keep slip on shoes near the door! You will need them as you walk down the stairs and into the parking lot.
2. If traveling with children, make sure they know where the car is parked and have that as the meeting area should you get separated, you can meet up.
3. Put a key card, a fully charged phone, car keys, all billfolds (wallets) into the purse and set it close to the door so that as you leave you are grabbing it (that way you can get into your car if it is a fire and cannot get back into the building). If it is a small fire easily contained you have a key card to get back into the building/room.
4. Study the evacuation plan. We knew where the stairs were and knew how to get out, but our girls did not and were headed for the longest route out and we had to direct them.
5. Be prepared to see people in sheets! Yep, my girls got a lesson in man and woman traveling alone will be doing other things in the bed.
6. Don't be surprised to hear people say that the next time a fire alarm goes off they are calling the desk! Yep, heard that one. Really folks think about this, if everyone calls down the phone system will be overloaded and if it was a bigger fire, you would be trapped!
After we were out of the hotel and learned it was just a toaster fire, I started laughing. Why? Because in Ohio, homeschooling, you have to have to fire plan in place and practice it. Do we have a plan? Yes. Have you practiced it? Yes. Did it work for the hotel? No! Why? Because the girls wanted to take the elevator, we had to yell for them to go to the stairs, no elevators allowed in a fire. We had to call them back to us when they started to the main area, rather than out the nearest doors to get out. Next hotel, we will be better prepared and we actually started by studying the fire evacuation form when we got to the room and then when we got to the next hotel (we were leaving that day and heading home after a last visit with family) and started our new plan. We were fortunate and I am glad that we learned something from this and can at least laugh at the absurdity of the fire drill at such a bad hour. Anything you can live through can be funny.