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Fire at DFO?

By johnboy - 6 October 2008 72

Skidbladnir has texted in the following report from the field:

    DFO evacuated, alarms, not a drill etc…

    Four police cars, the works, but the building takes roughly 20 minutes to distract the braindead ones from shopping

More as it comes to hand.

UPDATED: It’s sounding as if it was a bomb hoax.

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72 Responses to
Fire at DFO?
Skidbladnir 10:25 am 07 Oct 08

In the grand scheme of things, I don’t see DFO as being a huge international target.
As targets go, there would probably be far better ones for even domestic terror.
You’d want destruction for attention, but the target should be symbolic, so your message lasts longer than your chaos.

World Trade Centre: Your jahiliyyah capitalism offends us, and we will bring it down.
School buses in Israel: We move amongst you already, and can destroy your future.

Bombing DFO: Im a crazy person with no legitimate axe to grind, so will threaten a crowd in the regional outlet of a corporation based in Queensland.

peterh 10:00 am 07 Oct 08

johnboy said :

When Bin Laden sits in his cave I doubt the Canberra DFO ranks high in his thoughts.

yes, but the extremist terrorist would see DFO as a massive target against capitalism. (not neccesarily muslim, either)

johnboy 9:53 am 07 Oct 08

When Bin Laden sits in his cave I doubt the Canberra DFO ranks high in his thoughts.

peterh 9:50 am 07 Oct 08

Skidbladnir said :

bubzie said :

20 minutes to evacuate??

I was out quick enough, but I noticed a few problems.

The place is designed to encourage Gruen Transference[1] wherever you go (short lines of sight, repetitive design style, no clocks or quick directions for interior landmarks, and the “You Are Here” maps weren’t particularly helpful), which is pretty bad for the public in a fire event.

Shoppers (and staff) were still trying to execute trade even though there were announcements urging everyone to leave, but when staff woke up to the fact that they should be getting people -out- instead of letting them pay for things, they were still taking “can you set this aside for me for once this is over” requests.

Security guards were encouraging people to move down the escalators and into the carparks, (which if it were a bomb threat, might not be the wisest move) not urging them to leave and get away from the building.

So after going outside to wait to meet up with the people I was there with, and hanging around with nobody sharing any information, moved in to overhear the centre staff saying that there were people still slowly making their way out.

After a while of not hearing any reason behind why we were all still waiting outside, we just walked down one of the exit ramps into the carpark and drove away.

While it might have been the first uncontrolled test of their evacuation procedures, as a member of the crowd, it seemed a shambolic affair, and left a lot to be desired.

[1]: Gruen Transference, its more than just a tv show, its a shopping mall design philosophy.
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-gruen-transfer.htm

skid,

if this was a real event, not a hoax, there would have been serious injuries or worse, considering that we are all constantly reminded to be on alert for a potential act of terror, a bomb could have brought that building down in 10-15 mins. Maybe DFO needs to review their evac policy and get their shops up to speed.

potential for injury – either in the store complex or underneath in the carpark is far too great. I was at DFO the day before, my wife commented that the fact that the entire carpark is underground, and underneath the stores, a mass evacuation would be chaotic if the place had to be evacuated. There aren’t any paths into the carpark that we saw, how does a person with a pram get out of the carpark if the lifts aren’t working? and where are the signs to tell you?

Skidbladnir 9:41 am 07 Oct 08

bubzie said :

20 minutes to evacuate??

I was out quick enough, but I noticed a few problems.

The place is designed to encourage Gruen Transference[1] wherever you go (short lines of sight, repetitive design style, no clocks or quick directions for interior landmarks, and the “You Are Here” maps weren’t particularly helpful), which is pretty bad for the public in a fire event.

Shoppers (and staff) were still trying to execute trade even though there were announcements urging everyone to leave, but when staff woke up to the fact that they should be getting people -out- instead of letting them pay for things, they were still taking “can you set this aside for me for once this is over” requests.

Security guards were encouraging people to move down the escalators and into the carparks, (which if it were a bomb threat, might not be the wisest move) not urging them to leave and get away from the building.

So after going outside to wait to meet up with the people I was there with, and hanging around with nobody sharing any information, moved in to overhear the centre staff saying that there were people still slowly making their way out.

After a while of not hearing any reason behind why we were all still waiting outside, we just walked down one of the exit ramps into the carpark and drove away.

While it might have been the first uncontrolled test of their evacuation procedures, as a member of the crowd, it seemed a shambolic affair, and left a lot to be desired.

[1]: Gruen Transference, its more than just a tv show, its a shopping mall design philosophy.
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-gruen-transfer.htm

johnboy 9:27 am 07 Oct 08

The correct response to any emergency is a matter for the fire marshals and their assessment of the threat.

But a 20 minute clearout time does indicate a lack of marshals and/or training.

Gungahlin Al 9:27 am 07 Oct 08

We were there when the evacuation was called. Almost got all the way around.
Rained out of Floriade, bombed out of DFO, problematic day really…

Strange that the police allowed us to get cars from under the centre if it was a bomb threat.

No doubt it killed the afternoon’s trade for the businesses there – and a bumper time they were having too.

Like is often the case with various emergencies, I was surprised at our folk in blue’s seemingly poor crowd control and incident management training.

peterh 9:24 am 07 Oct 08

my wife used to work for the hyperdome – she was appalled that it took 20mins to evacuate a single level building – average time for the hyperdome was 10mins, they always aimed for 5mins.

and they didn’t let people leave the carpark in their cars, either – who the hell thought that was a good idea?

if there was a fire or bomb or flooding event, the last place I would want to be would be under the shopping centre or lower than ground level….

ant 10:56 pm 06 Oct 08

They did fly a plane, unfortunatley since the airport is skint, all they could afford was an Ultralight. An electric one.

bd84 9:53 pm 06 Oct 08

Brand Depot wouldn’t do that, they’d just fly a plane into the place.

squashee 7:33 pm 06 Oct 08

Bomb threat?? Did that come from the airport side of town??

grundy 7:17 pm 06 Oct 08

Sister in law said it was a bomb threat and Police evacuated everyone.

bubzie 6:12 pm 06 Oct 08

20 minutes to evacuate??

oh my god!! for shame people, for shame!!

(Heck, it’d take me, a stereotypical teenager to go shopping in that time there!)

Peachy 5:59 pm 06 Oct 08

The interesting part was where they let all the drivers into the the carpark below to get their cars while the alarms were still going and the DFO itself was still off limits.

peter@home 3:57 pm 06 Oct 08

the brand depot was broken into yesterday – was a bit concerning to see 2 forensics units and 2 police patrol cars. wonder if it was the same group, testing dfo’s response times?

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