When a fire breaks out, preparation, knowledge of the circumstances, and quick reactions are critical to survival and ensuring the safety of people and property. These tips and instructions are intended to give a clear idea of how to act and what steps to take during an indoor fire.
Some basic points to know are:
Further, better preparation can be achieved by having fire drills and we suggest doing the following:
Finally, to ensure the maximum amount of safety for everyone, here are additional precautions and methods that you can take to prevent or stop a fire.
Employing these suggestions will improve fire safety and reduce risks. If you are interested in becoming a firefighter then you will need an OSHA approved 40 hour HAZWOPER certification which is a requirement for most emergency first responders. However, if you just need basic fire safety tips then a simple training video course would suit your needs.
Wherever you spend some time each day, you should be aware of your surroundings with regard natural or human made disasters. Fire can fall under either category, so it is important that a plan is in place, in case of fire, whether this is in your home, school or at your workplace. Plans may include a fire drill if a large number of people are involved. There should always be a method of having a head count, regardless of the situation.
Several escape routes should be discussed, depending on where the fire is, with a central location for people to gather in an emergency. If there are absentees within a certain time limit, then you will be aware that someone is in trouble and needs immediate help. Depending on the size of the fire, it is best to leave the rescue efforts to firefighters. They have been trained in these methods, and will invariably do a much better job than amatuers. Rescue efforts can be quite hazardous in quickly burning areas. In the case of brush fires, look for a clearing and leave the area quickly.
There are precautions that should be taken in the event of a fire, and those who share your space should be aware of these as well. The National Fire Protection Association states that once you are aware that there is a fire taking place, sound the alarm, then follow the rules that have been set up for the emergency. Immediately call the fire department, in most areas the number is 911, check to see if your escape route is clear, gather all of your family members and pets if you do have them, and leave the building.
Should you be unable to leave the building because of the fire, close the door of the room where you are located, and check it with the back of your hand to determine the levels of heat behind the door. If the door is cool at the bottom, wrap yourself in a blanket or sheet, use a wet cloth to cover your nose and mouth, then try crawling out of the room away from the fire. If the top of the door is hot, keep the door locked. Next, dampen some towels or sheets and place them around the doorway, and try leaving the room by another exit, which could be a window. If you are not able to leave by a window, keep this closed also, as oxygen from the atmosphere causes fire to escalate.
If there are no other safe exits, stay put, and use a sheet or towel to attract attention through a window. Try not to panic, as this only makes the situation worse. If you are sharing space with others as in a school setting, do the headcount, and make certain everyone is in the same area if possible, awaiting evacuation. The same thing applies to family members and pets.
In case the fire is spreading rapidly, if you are not being rescued, and are in danger, leave the building. If you are on the ground floor, go through a window and roll over several times on landing. Should you be above ground, climb out on to the ledge of the window, facing the building closing the window behind you if at all possible. Try waving a sheet or towel, or screaming, to attract someone’s attention, while moving away from the heat.
As stated, always have a plan in case of fire regardless of where you are, and follow the plan in an emergency, stay focused. Make certain there is a working fire alarm system in your home, workplace or school at all times by changing the batteries in the system annually. Keep a manual fire extinguisher handy at all times and know how to use it, as this can put out a fire and save lives at the same time.
A fire extinguisher can help to contain small kitchen fires that sometimes occur. Though people think they know how to use fire extinguishers, proper use requires a little understanding of the types of the extinguishers available and how each one functions. Each member of the family should be taught the proper use of the extinguisher in case of fire and when to allow professional firefighters to handle the blaze. We actually recommend this specific video to learn how to use a fire extinguisher in the proper fashion: http://www.safetyvideos.com/How_To_Use_A_Fire_Extinguisher_Training_Video_p/1053f.htm
Fire Extinguisher Types
Fire extinguishers are available in a number of types that are chemically suited to fight different types of fires. These designations are usually clearly marked on the extinguisher itself. Using the right type of extinguisher on a small fire is critical.
· Class A Extinguishers – These extinguishers can be used for fires that contain wood, cloth, paper or similar combustibles.
· Class B Extinguishers – These extinguishers are used for fires from flammable liquids as the fuel source.
· Class C Extinguishers – These extinguishers are used to fight electrical fires, such as those from faulty wiring.
· Class D Extinguishers – These units are used for fires caused by ignitable metals. They are the least common type of extinguisher.
Using Your Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers come in a variety of sizes. They can weigh from 1 to 30 pounds. In generally, you should choose an extinguisher that your family can use easily in case of emergency. The extinguisher should be light enough to lift and maneuver with clear instructions on the face or accompanying tag. The extinguisher should be stored where it can be found easily. All people in the structure should know the location of the extinguisher and the basic method of using it.
The P.A.S.S Method
Fire experts have a devised a simple mnemonic to help people remember the correct method of using a fire extinguisher under circumstances of stress. The letters P.A.S.S. stand for Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep.
· “P” – Pull the pin on the top of the extinguisher. This action allows you to discharge the chemicals.
· “A” – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Do not simply aim for the flames. You must apply the extinguishing chemical at the materials that are fueling the fire. These are usually located at the base of the flames.
· “S” – Squeeze the top handle or lever to discharge the chemical into the base of the fire. Ensure that you are standing a safe distance away from the fire to prevent igniting clothing or other items.
· “S” – Sweep the nozzle from side to side to discharge the chemical on the fire source. Continue this action until the fire is completely extinguished. Then, monitor the area to ensure that the fire does not re-ignite.
Determining When To Get Help
People should always keep in mind that portable fire extinguishes are designed to be used on small fires only and only in emergency situations in which the fire can be safely extinguished without danger to yourself or others. If you find the spray is not sufficiently strong to put out the fire or you run out of chemical before the fire is fully extinguished, call 9-1-1 and get everyone out of the house immediately.