Our Man in the Field: Alarms in the Night

Our man in the field heads up to Toronto for business, and while staying at a hotel, he encounters the cat-herding experience of a high-rise hotel's fire alarm


Step six: Go back to your room mumbling and complaining and grumbling about how the next time, you're going to show these stupid hotel people; you'll just stay in your room and watch the game. I just love intelligent responses to difficult situations.

So you say, what does this have to do with CCTV? After all, that is the field that you've heard is my expertise. The answer is fairly simple -- absolutely nothing. But those alarm people in the audience could pick up some good advice in the next few lines. I think that we in the U.S. and Canada should set an example and pass some tough laws.

1. If you do not exit a hotel during an alarm, you will be ejected for the night and never again allowed to check into any hotel that is higher than two floors. You have been listed. Go live with the truckers and transients.

2. We need to pass a rule that requires that every person who checks into a hotel with three or more levels must pass a simple 10 question test or watch a fire safety video before they are allowed to have a room.

3. I think that parents should be fined $1,000 per child if they do not exit a building with their children when the alarm sounds.

4. I think that the alarm panels should be tied into all the televisions in the hotel. They would automatically override every channel and movie with a bright screen and a very loud voice that would say, "Get out now, you idiot."

In the end, we as a security industry need to hammer safety in hotels down people's throats. After all, if the airline industry still feels that it is important enough to demonstrate how a seatbelt buckles and unbuckles before each flight, we should feel equally obligated to demonstrate the purchase of pain that fire brings.

By the way, the CCTV system in the hotel preformed very well throughout the entire incident.

About the Author: Richard R. "Charlie" Pierce has been an active member of the security industry since 1974. He is the founder and past president of LRC Electronics Company, a full service warranty/non-warranty repair center for CCTV equipment. In 1985, Charlie founded LeapFrog Training & Consulting (Formally LTC Training Center), a full service training center specializing in live seminars, video-format certification training programs, plain language technical manuals and educational support on CCTV. He is an active member of: ASIS, ALAS, CANASA, NBFAA, NAAA and SIA. He is the recipient of numerous security industry awards, and is a regular contributor to Security Technology & Design magazine. Look for his columns to also appear regularly via SecurityInfoWatch.com and this website's Security Frontline e-newsletter.