Firestair Friday

Riayn wrote about Firestair Friday today. Now, since I probably should avoid using stairs TOO much atm, and besides, the most stairs we have at our house is 10… I thought I’d be a spoilsport and write about some of the dangers of using firestairs. No, not heart attacks. That’s obvious. No, there’s a chance that you need troublemaking talent to experience these ones.

The Story

I was young, in my first job, and in charge of making any urgent deliveries to nearby fund managers. My first delivery of the day was to one of the tallest buildings (at the time) in Sydney. I’d never come across express lifts (hey, I was a country kid, OK? I used to have to travel 30km to see a traffic light or escalator!). So I got in the first lift I saw, was marginally puzzled by the fact that the button numbers stopped at 18, but figured I could worry about that when I got there. So I pressed 18, whizzed up, and got out. Hmmm. AHA – fire stairs! I needed some extra exercise anyway.

So I headed up 2 flights of stairs. No worries. An open door. Great! An empty corridor with only locked doors coming off it. Oh crud. What now? I stood, pondering slowly (I mentioned I was a country kid, right?). And a security guard came puffing up the stairs, hand on gun. Are security guards supposed to carry guns? Anyhow, I surrendered meekly. Apparently I’d set off all sorts of alarms, and he thought someone was about to carry out a heist. Whoops. I think I nearly caused a heart attack for the poor security guard. Luckily I didn’t get arrested Since it was before 9/11, they didn’t even swab the letter I eventually delivered for white powder.

The Other Story

You’d think that’d be the end of my firestair stories, wouldn’t you? Except that I was catching a plane to Sydney just after 9/11, and all the new security measures. I went through security no worries, then realised I didn’t have any cash on me. Sigh. Asked the nearest retailer where an ATM was (I’m not a complete dork, I’d looked). They directed me along a corridor and down some stairs. Righty-o, wonderful. Halfway down, I could see the ATM. I could also see that I was going out into the non-secure area of the airport again. ARGH no! So I stopped, turned around and started climbing the stairs.

Alarms. Air-raid, fire and ohmigod-we’re-all-gonna-die alarm. CRUD! Umm… did I do that?

A lovely cleaner hurried in, grabbed me, and hustled me away from the stairs, explaining that the doors would lock any second and if I stayed, I’d be stuck in there for ages. Probably gassed too, for all I knew.

So there you go. Some stairs are one-way-only. Be warned. There might not be a cleaner around to rescue YOU.

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3 Responses

  1. But look at all that exercise you got tramping up and down the stairs looking for a way out. 🙂

    Yes, some fire doors are locked from within the stair well, so that is a trap for young players. Fortunately, our office has a handy doorstopper, that I use to wedge open the door so that when I go down, I can come back up again.

  2. True 🙂 I just want to make sure that people are aware that they may be shot or gassed if they firestair-climb indiscrimately! LOL

  3. LOL
    I’ll remember your wise words of warning next time someone makes me take the firestairs 😉

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