We can never be too over prepared for emergencies. As such, this article will be a short summary of 5 important things to keep in mind when dealing with a fire emergency, with the hopes of arming you, dear reader, with helpful knowledge that might save a life one day.
1. Know your exits
This is something that is most helpful before the fire. Knowing at least two exits from anywhere you enter could be very helpful during a fire emergency.
Fire tends to spread and alter the available paths through a building. So knowing multiple ways to exit the building could potentially save a life.
2. Pull the nearest fire alarm
This is a good thing to do as you exit the building because it would let other people know something is going on and can potentially alert the authorities as well. Not all alarms are connected, but some are.
The alarm can also alert people in nearby buildings to both help the people escaping or to get to safety themselves. So if you are in an emergency and you don’t hear an alarm, consider being the one to pull it, while taking great care not to put yourself in direct danger.
3. Feel the doors for heat
When escaping the building, always make sure you feel the doors for heat. This could indicate whether there is fire on the other side of the door. In such a situation, it is best to find an alternate route if possible as opening the door could make the fire react in unpredictable ways.
Additionally, if you’re trapped in a room due to fire, try close as many doors as possible between you and the fire. Also, wet cloth material placed around or under doors can prevent smoke from getting in.
4. Stay low to the ground
If you see smoke in the air around you, be sure to always stay low to the ground. This prevents smoke inhalation and exposure to fire, which can increase the odds of you getting out safely considerably.
Additionally, you might want to consider breathing through your nose and using a filter such as a handkerchief, a shirt, or a towel. This also helps prevent smoke inhalation and can keep your mind alert enough to make decisions on the way out. Lastly, when moving make sure to crawl on hands and knees to the nearest exit.
5. Once clear from danger, call for help
When you manage to clear the building, make sure you escape to a safe distance before you call for help. Calling the authorities might help them pinpoint the source of the fire or help corroborate previous calls.
Most office buildings, universities, and other such places have designated areas for people to gather in the event of a fire. Instead of trying to find each other in the building, everyone heading there is the safest and best way to deal with such an emergency.
Fire emergencies can happen for a variety of reasons and can easily put our lives at risk. That’s why it’s really important to be prepared for it and arm ourselves with knowledge that might help.
Lastly, do be aware that the emergency number for the Fire Brigade in Malaysia is 994 and the number for the Police and Ambulance is 999.
Header Image Source: Safety First