Fire safety differs wildly and dealing with a fire depends on where you are and the nature of the blaze. Knowing what to do in different situations can potentially save your life.
Here are some actions for dealing with a fire in the workplace, at home, and on the move.
If you see smoke or fire emitting from your car while driving, you need to act immediately. Remaining calm is vital, but so is acting quickly as every second count in such a scenario.
Once you’ve detected the fire, stop the car and turn off the ignition. Make sure to signal correctly and only come stop in a safe place; the last thing you want is to crash.
First, vacate the vehicle immediately and help anyone else to as well. Relocate them somewhere far away, ideally at least a hundred feet away, and ensure everyone stays away from the blaze.
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If you are the first person to detect a fire, then your first job is to raise the fire alarm. The severity of the fire doesn’t matter, as a small one can quickly develop into something worse.
Your workplace should have staff assigned as fire marshals who ensures that everyone in the office has evacuated safely.
Don’t attempt to use a lift in the middle of a fire emergency. You won’t know if the floor you’re going to is safe.
An enclosed, metal space is not the ideal setting in the middle of a fire.
Some lifts may also automatically lockdown in the event of a fire, leaving you trapped. If you get caught in an elevator when there is a fire, there should be protocols in place for such a situation, so ring the alarm and wait for help.
If there is a large volume of smoke or fumes, drop to the floor as you can; the air is cleaner the closer it is to the ground. Don’t attempt to collect any personal belongings or anything like that.
Make your way to the assembly point as quickly as possible. When there, headcounts should be made, but if anyone is missing, do not enter the building. Instead, wait for the fire service to arrive, as they will be best equipped to help.
Home fire safety preparation begins with the importance of having an escape plan. Planning a route is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for a domestic fire. You won’t panic about finding a safe way out of your home.
A good escape plan has multiple exit points and is well-rehearsed, so everyone knows what to do should the worst happen. An agreed meeting spot can also be very helpful, so choose a safe place to convene.
If the fire is spreading, you should notify everyone in your home and start evacuating immediately. Paying particular attention to children and vulnerable adults, and do a quick headcount so you don’t miss anyone before taking your prepared route out.
Don’t attempt to take any valuables; leave them behind and make your way out as quickly as possible, they’re not worth the risk.
When making your way through the house, check the doors before you open them to see if they are warm. Avoid going in if it is hot, which is a sign that there may be a fire in the next room.
Similarly, shut doors behind you as you go, so the spread of the blaze is limited as much as possible. When you’re outside, call the emergency services immediately and wait for them to arrive.
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