Do not panic, but do not under-estimate the potential danger to customers or staff represented by a fire. At the first indication of smoke or flame, investigate the situation to determine location and extent of the fire. If the fire can obviously be contained and extinguished quickly and safely by staff, proceed to do so. However, if there is any doubt about whether the fire can be controlled, immediately call 911 or the fire department and then clear the building.
The time to think about fires is before they happen. Familiarize yourself with the type, location, and application of the fire extinguisher(s) in the building. Orient all staff and volunteers to this information. If a fire drill is initiated, library staff should respect those training exercises and respond as they would in the case of a real fire.
Procedures to Follow in the Event of a Fire
- Calmly announce to patrons that they must evacuate the building and instruct them to walk across the street to the post office, or if using the Coughlin Room exit, the other side of that street.
- Walk through the library, the story hour room, the art gallery, chamber office and check the bathrooms to be sure everyone has exited the building. Close the library and gallery doors. Exit the building.
- Call 911.
- Patrons will be able to leave the premises provided they can do so safely, and they do not hinder the fire department’s access to the building. Once the fire department arrives, no one will be able to leave the parking lot.
- People will gather across the street in front of the post office.
Procedures to Follow in the Event of a Tornado
- Advise visiting patrons that a tornado is approaching.
- Take the magic key.
- Strongly encourage everyone to stay in the building and direct the patrons downstairs into the meeting room directly across from the bottom of the stairs.
- Close the library door, then walk through the library, the story hour room, the art gallery, chamber office and check the bathrooms to ensure that all visitors have safely evacuated the upper level.
- Go downstairs and open the meeting room door if it is locked, then shut it behind you. Duck and cover.
Staff members should exercise caution when administering first aid of even a minor nature because of the safety of the injured individual and the potential liability of the staff member. Without specialized training it is not advisable for staff to undertake more than keeping the sick or injured patron comfortable and protected from needless disturbance until medical help can be obtained. Since each case is unique, staff members should use their own judgment to do what is prudent and reasonable.
The Rescue Squad/Police (911 if available) should be called immediately in the event of any serious problem.
No medication, including aspirin, should ever be dispensed to the public.
Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Ask the caller to repeat the message and try to write down every word spoken by the person.
If the caller does not indicate the location of the bomb or the time of possible detonation, ASK FOR THIS INFORMATION.
Pay particular attention to peculiar background noises such as motors running, background music and any other sounds which may indicate where the location from which the call is originating.
Listen closely to the voice (male, female), voice quality (calm, excited), accents and speech impediments.
Immediately after the caller hangs up, call the police. Clear the building. Follow the same procedures used for fire evacuations. The police will handle the actual bomb search.
Dangerous Person in the Building
If there is a gunman in the building, immediately lock all the doors in the library and call the police via 911. If it is known that the gunman is downstairs have all patrons exit the building by the safest route and move to the west of the property as soon as possible.