The holiday season means public spaces will be jampacked
The busy Christmas shopping period was barely a week in when fire struck the third floor of the Glorietta 3 shopping complex in Makati City Sunday night.
The fire started a few minutes before 8:00 p.m. The Makati Bureau of Fire Protection managed to evacuate workers and shoppers inside, as well as those from nearby establishments, and extinguish the blaze in a little more than an hour. Bureau personnel are still investigating the cause.
No one was reported injured, but the near-unfortunate incident calls for the awareness of both the public and establishment owners to be aware of the potential hazards of crowded shopping areas during the holiday season.
In the weeks before Christmas, the danger of an accident escalating into a deadly situation multiplies because of the sheer number of people–often at overcapacity–in an area at a given time.
Needless to say, establishment owners must give their personnel protocol to follow in the event of fires or other disasters in order to prevent panic, avoid stampedes, and protect lives.
As for the shopping public: Knowing how to react in a fire can help safeguard your life and those of your loved ones. First off, knowing your preferred mall’s emergency exists isn’t exactly SOP for a normal shopper. But maybe it’s time to change that.
A shopper should take note of the mall plans on display, be aware of the signs, and even chat up a security guard or two. When traveling in groups, set designated meeting points, outside of the mall if possible, beforehand.
In case something does happen: Don’t panic, alert a guard, collect your loved ones, and get out as calmly as possible.