Ensuring residents’ safety

Engineer Hanzel Roux gives feedback to volunteers and fire marshals after the drill.

On Thursday, 26 May, Highlands House proved its commitment to the physical safety of its residents and the safety protocols of the Home by hosting the first successful Emergency Evacuation Simulation in its history. 

The process took place between 11am and 1pm, and was aimed at assessing the Home’s readiness to handle an emergency evacuation, demonstrating its staff’s ability to assist in emergencies after fire safety training in 2021; and identifying any snags in the system, procedures and protocols that could hinder a safe and successful evacuation. Additionally, the simulation provided a sense of the speed and safety with which residents who require mobility assistance could evacuate in a real-life scenario.

No residents participated in the simulation. Instead, Consultmech Mechanical Engineers, who have guided our fire safety improvements around the Home, led our management and staff in simulating an emergency. They were joined by 50 student volunteers from United Herzlia Schools, three teachers, and volunteers from CSO to complete the simulation. The Herzlia students took the role of residents facing an emergency — some with mobility concerns — and occupied the third-floor rooms and corridors when fire alarms sounded at 11:30. The staff, teachers and CSO volunteers took the role of fire marshals, guiding the ‘residents’ in a safe evacuation from the third floor to the assembly point outside the Home’s main entrance on Gorge Road. Consultmech engineer Hanzel Roux directed the process, assigned roles and managed and monitored the alarm systems and timing of evacuation. He gave a safety talk to all volunteers at the assembly point afterwards.

Executive Director of Highlands House, Dr Leon Geffen, thanked the students, teachers and volunteers for their time and effort in ensuring the safety of our residents should an emergency ever call for evacuation.

“It is our board, management and staff’s priority to ensure our fire safety practices, procedures and equipment are up to code. Thank you to the staff fire marshals, CSO volunteers and United Herzlia Schools for participating in this simulation, providing us with insight as we work to improve and perfect our safety protocols. Your efforts today could save lives in the future.”

July birthdays

We wish all our residents who celebrate another year around the sun this July, a Happy Birthday. May your day be spent celebrating the warmth, joy and love you bring to those around you.

1st Linda Sparks

2nd Lily Kessler

3rd Ruth Huxham

5th Anita Goldman, Bertha Barenblatt and Helga Green

7th Anne-Joy Perel and Mary Silberman

10th Elton Joffe

12th Mary Brandon

13th Jhudith le Chat

15th Cynthia Cohen

20th Moira Seligman and Zvi Itzikovitz

22nd Pauline Swartzman

23rd Johan Heymann

28th Eleanore Bloch and Rebecca Herman

31st Esmée Marks

Highlands House www.highlandshouse.co.za

• Published in the PDF edition of the July 2022 issue – Click here to read it.

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