Proactive vs Reactive Behaviour

Proactive vs Reactive Behaviour

This issue of the ProFire Periodical is deeply connected to the previous issue. In brief, Issue 3 discussed the importance of emergency planning in fire and life safety. Proactive vs Reactive behaviour describes how people can react in case of an emergency.

Proactive vs. Reactive Behaviours

In the event of an emergency, we immediately think of our knee-jerk ‘reaction’ to run towards safety. Would we define that as a proactive or reactive behaviour? A proactive behaviour is one which is controlled, or planned in advance provided a given stimulus. A reactive behaviour, on the other hand, is one which is impulsive towards the given stimulus.

What does all of this mean? How is it related to fire and life safety?

Reactive: Imagine a fully-occupied office space with 50 employees. Smoke begins emerging from the front of the office building due to an electrical fire, but none of the employees have been infromed of the appropriate procedures for evacuation. Panic arises and everyone makes a dash for the door! This is where confusion, and consequently injuries occur.

Proactive: The same office realized the importance of being aware of procedures in case of an emergency. They now conduct fire drills to rehearse evacuation procedures, taking into account the implications of safety.

What can you do to create a proactive behavioural environment?

Educate fire wardens and office staff on the content of the fire safety plan and safe evacuation procedures.

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