Actions to Take in a Fire Emergency

 

In case of fire, pull the nearest fire alarm and follow the building evacuation plan!

Fire has always been considered a potential hazard in workplaces. It is important to know where the alarms in your building are stationed and the evacuation route you need to take in case of emergencies.

Before we continue discussing the actions that you need to take in case of a fire emergency, let’s talk about some important pointers on fire safety precautions.

Fire Safety: Always Be Prepared!

Being prepared is the key to minimising any untoward incidents when an emergency happens. It is essential to understand the importance of fire awareness and other safety precautions. Every employee in a workplace is required to know how to respond to emergencies like fire.

Here are some fire safety pointers:

Fire Prevention Plan

It is your responsibility as an employee to report any hazardous conditions that can cause injury or fire. Make sure that your report is addressed immediately by building administrations to ensure that no harm will befall anyone or anything in and out of the premises.

Fire prevention plans should include the following:

       Removal of all combustible materials within the building;

       Report discharged or missing fire extinguishers;

       Emergency egress of the building should be clear from anything that may hamper the swift flow of evacuation;

       Ensure that all electrical panels are covered at all times;

       Recycle bins for combustible materials should be in a separate closed area and away from fire hazards;

       Emergency lights and exit signs should always be maintained;

       Mechanical and electrical rooms should not be made storage rooms; and

       Evacuation plan routes should be placed in a conspicuous place where every employee can see.

It also helps to familiarise yourself with the location of fire alarms, extinguishers and exits. Most importantly, never test nor play with fire alarms.

Fire Drills and Training

Fire drills are implemented in workplaces to prepare employees to respond safely and quickly while maintaining calmness. Remember that haste makes waste!

It helps to evaluate the efficacy of the fire safety and evacuation plan being implemented. This can also help determine if your building’s safety protocols comply with the Australian Standard (AS) 3745-2010.

If you’re wondering if it is important to actively join fire drills and training, then the answer is yes. Fire drills should be done regularly, that is once every 3 months for fire hazard workplaces and at least once yearly for other establishments.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are typically placed in strategic locations in the building taking into account their types and sizes as well as the potential hazards of the premises. Generally, they should be located near the main entrance of the room or the exit door of the building.

The most important thing to remember about fire extinguishers is it requires proper training in handling them. Operating them without the right training may lead to more serious injuries or may cause the fire to spread.

You should also know the right kind of fire extinguisher to use for certain types of fire.

  1. Pressurized Water Fire Extinguishers: Used for Type A fire which is from combustible materials that produce Ash after being burned.
  2. Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers: Used for type B fire which is the result of chemical liquids in Barrels.
  3. Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers: Used for type C fire which involves electrical or Circuit energized fire.

Now that you know some important fire safety precautions, let’s tackle some helpful ways to deal with fire.

Actions to Take in Case of Fire

There are 4 main actions that you need to remember when you are confronted with fire emergencies.

1.    Alert Everyone

At the first sight of smoke or fire, you should alert everyone. Do not hesitate in activating the fire alarm system of your building. Dial triple zero (000) to inform the police and the fire authorities of the emergency and to report the exact location of the fire.

2.    Confine the Fire

Remember not to panic. Close all windows and doors of the room where fire or smoke is detected to help prevent the spread of fire. Do this quickly but calmly.

3.    Evacuate as Planned

When you hear the alarm, make sure to quietly leave your post and evacuate the building. You should use the nearest exit route from your location to prevent stampede or clogging of building egress.

Once outside, make sure to report to your supervisor. You may also proceed to the rally point of your building.

4.    Special Assistance

The general rule when there is fire is for everyone to safely exit the building. However, some instances call for special assistance such as when the fire had spread outside. In which case, you should stay inside the room and close the door. Remember to report the need for assistance and wait patiently for a rescue or an evacuation plan.

What should I do if my clothes catch fire?

The first thing that you should do is to cover your face with your hands and do the stop, drop and roll. Stopping will help lessen the spread of fire. Dropping further prevents the fire from spreading. And rolling helps smother the fire.

In case you catch cold burns, simply run cool water through the burns for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not apply ointments or creams and immediately seek medical assistance.

Contact Workplace Emergency Management today to learn more about how to handle fire emergencies!

 

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