General Question

talljasperman's avatar

Should every university or public place be equiped with an upgraded fire alarm?

Asked by talljasperman (18246 points ) May 28th, 2014

One that lets you pick police, fire or ambulance from one alarm.

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3 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

No. For several reasons.

1) Many jurisdictions have a 911 center that deals with the triage (who to send – police, fire, whatever) already. This would be, to some extent, duplicating the effort.

2) In an emergency, things should be as simple as possible for the person with the problem. NO decisions – just pull the red bar and someone comes. If a person has to decide, then it takes a second or two, and they may die. Keep things as simple as possible.

But even if this were desirable (and I don’t think it is), who is going to pay for retrofitting the millions of alarms already there?

rojo's avatar

No, I cannot see this as being a cost effective proposition.

SavoirFaire's avatar

The cost effectiveness argument makes no sense. Alarm systems are updated and replaced regularly anyway, so they could just be equipped this way the next time a system overhaul comes due. It doesn’t have to be an immediate and total replacement.

Second, there could still be a big red bar to pull that puts in a generic call. The extra buttons for police, fire, and ambulance could be there for those who then have the wherewithal to be more specific. There could even be some means of making sure that the buttons aren’t pushed accidentally.

As for duplicating efforts, there is no triage to be done when a generic alarm is sounded and no phone call made. So in at least some cases, the extra buttons could provide information that would otherwise be unavailable. And in those cases where triage is possible anyway, it’s no different than when two people report the same accident. Duplicated efforts are better than bystander apathy.

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