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Five minutes can save your life!

Friday, 28 October, 2016

September 26, 2016, around 11:00 AM, a fire ignited inside a diamantaire's vehicle located on floor -3 inside a large S-ADA building. At the time there were approximately 1,000 people inside the building. The fire alarm was activated, triggering the evacuation alarm. Approximately 200 people followed the correct evacuation procedures; the rest were unaware or deliberately stayed in their offices assuming it was a test or an exercise. Luckily the building management, security guards and fire department responded quickly and correctly and prevented the fire from spreading, which, if it did, would have been a catastrophe.

This was not the first ‘real’ incident within the S-ADA. Over the past years we have had real fires inside vehicles parked in underground parking garages, electric transformers that exploded, fires in trash bins inside of offices caused by cigarettes or cigars, malfunctions of electrical appliances, overheated deep fryers, etc.  

Please watch the following fire awareness videos showing how and how fast fires start/spread.

Fires, whether accidental or deliberate, were, are and will continue to be a clear and present threat for the people inside the S-ADA buildings and offices. Knowing what to do is critical to prevent human casualties as well as severe physical damage. Five minutes can either save your life, and/or that of your staff and customers, or increase the risk of becoming a victim and even dying from smoke inhalation or being burned alive.

Fortunately we have very few false fire and evacuation alarms, and we organize only one evacuation exercise - required by Belgian law - each year. These exercises are primarily intended to help you understand what and how to act in case of a fire.

Whether it is an exercise OR a real fire, your response upon hearing the evacuation alarm should ALWAYS be the same and as follows:

Immediately stop whatever you are doing

  • Do not call the building manager or security guards to check whether it is real or an exercise. They are preoccupied with other important responsibilities at that time.

Remain calm and warn everybody in the office and on the floor

Close all windows and doors

Promptly, but calmly, leave the office and exit the building into the street by following the clearly marked evacuation routes 

  • Staying in the office seriously increases your risk of becoming a victim, might unnecessarily endanger the lives of emergency staff and might expose you to the penal and civil code
  • Familiarize yourself with the evacuation procedures of your respective building
  • Contact your building manager for more information
  • Elevators will be locked and cannot be used
  • Follow the instructions of the building management, security guards and emergency staff

Proceed to the designated evacuation meeting point INSIDE THE STADSPARK

  • Do not loiter in the S-ADA or surrounding streets
  • The building management will perform a head count to determine if everyone is accounted for and will pass on the information to the emergency services
  • We keep the surrounding streets clear for emergency staff and vehicles
  • The police will screen and secure the designated evacuation point environment 
  • Be aware that if you have goods on you, do not follow correct evacuation procedures and instead go into the Central Station, the Hyllit hotel, the shopping centers, bars or cafés surrounding the S-ADA, and something happens to you or the goods, chances are very high you are NOT covered by your insurance policy!
  • Contact your insurance broker to check your insurance policy and for more information, questions or concerns

Stay on site, be patient and await further instructions

  • AWDC SO, the police and the emergency services try their best to limit the length, disruption and impact of the disturbance
  • Updates are send to the building managers regularly

Please do not hesitate to contact your building manager, or us, for more information, questions or remarks.

AWDC Security Office