I am happy to see that the Belvedere Restaurant in Warsaw has removed the plant box from blocking the emergency exit (see blog post ‘Breaking the Law’, 10th August).
It is dangerous for any venue to block emergency exits. These exits are there for an important reason, which is why it is illegal to block or obstruct them.
If there is a need to evacuate the building in a hurry, it will already be too late to move tables, chairs, plant boxes or to unlock the doors.
When I organise events, I always do a ‘venue check’ before letting people into the building. I am looking for trip hazards, cleaning chemicals left out, or blocked emergency exits. I will open the doors only when I am satisfied that the venue is safe, even if that means keeping guests waiting outside. One time, during London Fashion Week, my guests were waiting in the street for TWO HOURS!
That is a measure of how important safety is at events. Professional event organisers and venue managers know this. It is also a condition of the venue’s insurance that it must be safe for people entering the building.
Now, if the Belvedere Restaurant would only remove the second plant box, I would be even more happy, because it IS a two-door emergency exit…