That Fire Alarm Is False, But Hey, Speaking Of Fires, You're Fired

from the people-skills dept

It’s always a good Friday when you find out the company you work for is going under. But what can make those days really great is the caring and sensitive manner in which the company lets you know. For instance, in 2003, a British company told its 2,400 employees that the company was shutting and they wouldn’t get paid any more via text message. Today, a department store in England gave its 140 employees the news that they’re going to be out of a job in two weeks by pulling the fire alarm to clear the store of shoppers and to gather staff in one location — the point where they’re supposed to meet up in case of fire. The administrators brought in to try and salvage the store’s broke owners say “the most efficient and practical method of informing their colleagues of this business development was by using the fire alarm”, and they wanted staff to find out from them before word was made public. Efficient and practical, indeed — not to mention completely crass and obnoxious. Perhaps we can take some solace in the fact that these nice folks didn’t actually burn the place down instead.

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Comments on “That Fire Alarm Is False, But Hey, Speaking Of Fires, You're Fired”

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Ron (profile) says:


In the US, I think it is illegal to pull a fire alarm unless an emergency exists. Maybe the owners of the store will be arrested for falsly pulling the alarm. I presume the local fire department responded (unless they were informed there would be a test alarm at a certain time … in which case the store personnel were actually the second to know). So, maybe the owners will also be charged for the cost of the fire department rolling on the call.

Machavelli says:

Re: Jim Beam

It’s been done by Jim Beam on May 5th, 2007 @ 2:15am

In NYC under Guiliani, they faked a fire alarm to clear out a firehouse that they wanted to close down permanently. While the guys were out in the trucks, they locked it up


He will not post a citation for it because it didn’t
happen, he just has an axe to grind with guilani, and
or is a Billary fan.

ogman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Jim Beam by Machavelli

Wow, you had some cred there, right up to the distinctly unclever Billary thing. It’s just possible that Jim has absolutely no ax to grind with Giuliani, while it’s blatantly obvious that you have a problem with anyone named Clinton. Kind of hypocritical of you, eh?

While the incident may just be an urban legend, it’s also possible that what Jim said did happen and did not, for obvious reasons, receive a lot of publicity.

Oh, and if you are going to use Machiavelli’s name, at least learn how to spell it.

Liesl says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Jim Beam by Machavelli

Likely the firemen were union. Ever try to fire a useless union worker? Driving the US jobs out one lazy, overpaid, under performing, non-competitive person at a time.

I’m sure that when you dial 911 and expect a fire truck to magically appear in your driveway with a hose to put out the fire. Do you know any lazy firefighters, except for that lard-assed Tenny Pierce, aka Snausage Breath, from the LAFD?

Stephen says:

Closed for Business

A local restaraunt which had been open for 15+ years one day last summer posted a 8 1/2″ x 11″ printed sign on their door stating that they were closed for business. That was how they notified their employees as they arrived for work the following morning. They didnt intend to pay them either. 😛

rEdEyEz says:

drills and testing are common, WFR - not

Most large facilities contract a third party service that monitors the fire/security system. Upon indication of an incident, for instance, our service supplied a 3 minute grace window in which you can call in, provide a password/code, and notify them of either; a false alarm has occurred or testing is in progress. If after the grace period, noone has called, the service relays the alarm to the local FD for response.
We were constantly in contact with the service, because of accidents (cracked sprinkler heads) or because our insurance company required flow testing/system integrity checks/monitoring…

In the event of a “no call,” the fire department will respond, and will charge you for the incident. If false alarms becomes a frequent nuisance, they will fine you as well.

Standard practices and all, except for the Work Force Reductions… (then again, maybe not)

Jeff says:

There was a rock radio station here that changed formats AND employees by having a big party for everyone one fine night and at the end of the night, everyone was told, “door prize time…”
“We’re changing formats on Monday morning, you’re being let go.” Contract buyouts and such were delivered the following morning.

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