This the second fire alarm evacuation I have been part of this week. Two separate NHS buildings. This afternoon I am in a very large building on Grays Inn Road for a 2pm appointment. It is part of the City of London. I arrived very early … as I do… I think thats my fame to OCD behaviour. The good thing is that we were seen promptly at 2pm.
It was in the middle of the consultation that the fire alarm went off. The confusion that initially follows an alarm of fire… is in itself alarming. OMG…. we must have listen to the sound of the alarm for what felt like upto 1 minute.
I was at this time sitting in the reception area and waiting for the young adult who was being seen. So as guests to the building we look up to the staff to guide us. I wasn’t sure if it was a scheduled fire alarm test. Looking at the staff, they too appeared unclear. Then I could smell some toast. I figured someone was on their break.
Then the next few seconds all the clinicians came out of their consultation rooms followed by all their patients. Then we were informed to evacuate and we all left the building first still within the prenises, but outside. We stood here for about 5 minutes while the alarm kept goibg off… then on.
Then a security officer started announcing that it was a false alarm and we should all go back in the building. But the alarm was still sounding loud and clear. No one took notice of his announcements. Finally, we were told to proceed completely off the premises to the designated meeting point down the road, in a secret garden.
And here we arrived in a very private but public secret garden, in the middle of the city chaos.
Peace and tranquillity. To think that I walk past this place each visit…. simply amazing.
We stayed in the secret garden for at least 20mins before being led back to the premises. On our return, there was an overwhelming smell of burnt toast throughout the corridor. Apparently it was a faulty toaster…. so I guess someone didn’t have their break as planned.