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  • 1.  Fire/Evacuation drills during public opening hours?

    Posted 09-20-2022 01:27 PM

    Hi All,

    The question came up during a Safety Meeting, does anyone do evac or fire drills with public in the building?  We've trained the staff and docents on evacuation procedures and repeat regularly.  I'm hesitant to try a drill with people in the building because I'm afraid of triggering/traumatizing people for no real reason.  Just curious what others do or done in the past.

    Thanks and take care,

    Jim




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    Jim Mooney
    Museum Security Supervisor
    Currier Museum of Art
    Manchester NH
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    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 2.  RE: Fire/Evacuation drills during public opening hours?

    Posted 09-21-2022 08:40 AM
    We have also had the discussion about doing drills during opening hours and have had the same concerns. Since we are nested in a larger organization we have used non-museum staff from other areas as mock visitors. Perhaps you could reach out to other area museums and ask their staff to act as visitors for a drill?  Another option is to do the drill as a community event, possibly for MayDay. Ask the community to come to the museum specifically for the drill, perhaps give a little talk on emergency planning in museums or do a community preparedness event helping people create a family emergency plan. This will give your staff the opportunity to drill in a real life situation without traumatizing or triggering patrons. 

    I would be interested to see what others have come up with on this topic as I think it is a common gap in training. 

    Jordan Ferraro
    Conservator, Preventive and Paper




    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 3.  RE: Fire/Evacuation drills during public opening hours?

    Posted 11-11-2022 09:41 AM
    Just now reading this (I did a search for emergency procedures) and I have to say this is brilliant.

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    Lauren T. Furey
    Director of Visitor Services
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    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 4.  RE: Fire/Evacuation drills during public opening hours?

    Posted 11-11-2022 12:46 PM
      |   view attached
    Here ya go

    :)

    Rich
    631 905 5651

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    Richard Rotanz PhD
    Setauket NY
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    Attachment(s)

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 5.  RE: Fire/Evacuation drills during public opening hours?

    Posted 09-21-2022 12:50 PM
    We've recently been discussing this as well, especially since we want our front-of-house staff to gain experience in evacuating the public. The solution we've come up with is to pick a day where we know we'll have fewer visitors, be able to inform them of the general timeframe we're conducting the drill, and will be able to comp all or a portion of their admission.

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    Amber Glen
    Administrative Assistant
    State of Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives, & Museums
    Juneau, Alaska
    amber.glen@alaska.gov
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    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 6.  RE: Fire/Evacuation drills during public opening hours?

    Posted 09-22-2022 06:21 AM
    My former museum - a Midwestern science museum with 200,000 sq-ft in three buildings and free general admission - tried something like this twice. Once was for a "fire drill" evacuation, scheduled on a typically lower-attendance weekday off-season. Our then-operations manager was adamant that the public NOT be informed, so as to give the most realistic scenario. And, while the actual evacuation went reasonably well (and the outdoor weather was thankfully good) there were some irate people, especially those whose paid-venue experiences like an IMAX film, or meals in our food service area were interrupted. For those who didn't want to come back in to pick up where they left off or start a new comped meal, there were some ill feelings.

    The other time was on the day of a statewide tornado awareness "drill". This came in a busier time of year, during higher school visitation. Visitors WERE informed that we would be participating in the statewide test (which mitigated most pushback), and when the time came for crowds to be directed to shelter areas, we had staff on hand to give demos on the science of tornados and severe weather preparation. This put a positive spin on things and we had few complaints, despite more crowding and the interruption to the day.

    My takeaway from all this was that, unless you can make it a learning experience for all involved, someone is going to be very ticked off that you made them a Guinea Pig on their time and their dime.

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    John Wharton
    Museum Docent &
    Retired Museum Professional
    Bonita Springs FL
    http://linkedin.com/in/john-wharton-9629149
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    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more


  • 7.  RE: Fire/Evacuation drills during public opening hours?

    Posted 09-23-2022 07:31 AM
    Jim

    As a former company commander of FDNY - midtown, I would not recommend it. Even though it refreshes your procedures and / or brings out weaknesses, it also raises security concerns and unnecessary movement of those who are physically and mentally handicapped.

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    Richard Rotanz PhD
    Setauket NY
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    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more