Office closed – fire in our office building

March 27th, 2007 by

This is just a short notice to let you know that our office building in London has been evacuated. From what we know there is a fire (!!) somewhere in the building.

This means that unfortunatly we are unable to answer supportcalls via our phonesupport, and ticket replies may be a bit late as well. We have redirected phones to an answeringservice that will take messages, and we will call you back asap!

Good news is that all servers/domains/websites/etc are unaffected from this, and we should be back in the office starting tomorrow morning.

We were asked to leave quite urgently – this notice is written from my Blackberry (gotta love it) standing outside the building…

That was it – Ill update you in the morning πŸ™‚

Ditlev

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10 Comments

Sam
# 27th March, 2007

This is why I work from home ;-).

Ditlev
# 28th March, 2007

UPDATE:

OK – things seems to be fine this morning. Office building still standing, no signs of fire etc.

It was quite a funny thing though. We were told there was a fire in the electrical parts of the building. Which was why the firealarms were not working, as they were – yes – electrical. Result was that all light in the building, incl. the stairway’s was out. So they told us to use the elevators…”but hey – wasn’t there a problem with your electrical systems, and…elevators?” Thats not right now, is it?

We are about 35-40 people in the UK2 HQ, and the elevators are quite small, sure, the sign says “max 10 persons” but you would have a hard time fitting 5 in there. Anyway, we all got out safe and went for a pint at the local pub πŸ™‚

I think this will be the day to buy our own firealarms, and to make sure we have all procedures in place…

πŸ™‚
Ditlev

Matthew Lanham
# 28th March, 2007

As long as you guys are all OK thats the main thing!!!!!!

colin
# 29th March, 2007

Hope these cobalt raqs have asbetos cases!
πŸ˜‰

Ap0kalipSe
# 30th March, 2007

Which genius suggested using the elevators???? Everyone knows (well, should know) that you never use them in a fire!

agree’d on the lift size thing, our lift here says max 20 people. What did they test that with, supermodels??? it takes about 6 ‘normal’ folk πŸ™‚

David Precious
# 30th March, 2007

@Ap0kalipSe:

It was the building security people who told everyone to use the lifts… apparently the fire had taken out the lighting in the stairwells, so it would have been “unsafe” to evacuate that way. (They said the fire was already out, so there was no immediate danger really).

I also heard rumours that one of the stairwells was full of smoke, but I don’t know whether there’s any truth to that.

The stairwells have emergency lighting though (as you’d expect, and the law would require) so it should have been safe enough!

David Precious
# 30th March, 2007

@ Colin:
The servers are all in secure datacentres, which it seems have better fire protection than we do! πŸ™‚

Sam
# 30th March, 2007

I believe a large number of people escaped the World Trade Centre by using the lifts rather than the stairs, against normal fire practices. This makes sense if you’re 20 or 30 stories up or more, the fire is above you, and the building is about to collapse.

In a normal-sized office block which hasn’t just suffered a direct hit by a jumbo jet full of fuel, the fire is likely to be below you, and the lift shaft may be acting like a chimney, which is why you’re not supposed to use the lifts.

Or so I understand from teh Internets. I am not a fire marshall ;-).

David Precious
# 30th March, 2007

And fires have a nasty tendency of causing electrical problems – being stuck between floors in a lift would be bad enough normally, but when the fire grows more and when the heat (and maybe flames) start coming up the lift shaft, it’d turn that little metal box into a rather effective oven I’d imagine. Not a pleasant thought.

(I used to be a fire marshall in my last job, got a pretty flourescent jacket and everything! πŸ™‚ )

Ap0kalipSe
# 30th March, 2007

@Sam

Even if the fire is above you your still in danger (lift cables go all the way up, they break, you plummet! :O ) but as you say if the building was about to collapse I’d be in the lift’s too as I sure as hell wouldn’t be running down 30 flights of stairs! πŸ™‚

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