Evacuate When Fire Alarm Can Be Heard, Says Sanibel Fire Dept.

provided to The Santiva Chronicle
SC file photo by Assoc. Publisher Chuck Larsen

Sanibel Fire & Rescue responded to a fire the morning of July 7 at Pointe Santo de Sanibel Condos. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire with no injuries, but some of the condo residents were unwilling to evacuate the building.

“During the incident, we witnessed residents unwilling to evacuate the building,” said Sanibel Fire Deputy Chief Kevin Barbot. “This is highly concerning because the safety of those residents are now in jeopardy.”

While evacuating your home may be scary, it is important to leave the building or area safely and as quickly as possible. Anytime an evacuation is ordered, it is because life threatening conditions are present or will be present. And that is the message Sanibel Fire & Rescue wants the community to remember.

“Fire alarms are the first level of defense when it comes to evacuating,” said Sanibel Fire Marshal Larry Williams. “When firefighters are dispatched to the fire alarm, if residents have evacuated the building, crews are able to focus on locating the cause of the alarm activation.”

Residents are encouraged to follow all alarm and evacuation orders as it could mean the difference in life or death. Sanibel Fire & Rescue shares the following types of evacuations as a reminder of how and when to evacuate:

Fire Alarm: Fire alarms are a good indicator of a potential fire in a building or the surrounding area. If you are able to visibly see or hear an alarm you should quickly leave the area.
Evacuation Alert: If an evacuation alert has been issued, we encourage those in the area to consider planning or packing, in the event an evacuation becomes necessary.
Evacuation Warning: This means there is a high possibility an evacuation will be ordered.
Mandatory Evacuation Order: Individuals of the affected area will be asked to leave within a specified time period. Evacuation orders are swiftly and carefully determined by highly qualified leadership.

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