El Nino is causing heat surge across the Philippines. Temperature is reported to rise as high as above 40 degree Celsius in the peak of the summer season. As temperature rises so thus heat rises and the risk for fire is at its highest. Just recently we witnessed fires at UP Diliman and again at University of the East. Are there ways to prevent and be safe from fire? Here are our “10 Quick Tips on Fire Safety.”
1. Be aware of emergency numbers. The best protection is to always be ready, if a fire is threatening your business be sure that emergency numbers are posted near the telephone so that they can call the nearest fire station immediately. Remember to also save the numbers in your mobile phone so that in case calling is not safe from your location you can get out and make the call outside.
2. Fire escape plan. Always make sure that your business has a fire escape plan and a protocol followed by your office. Create a diagram with designated persons who will handle the situation and conduct the necessary procedure. This will prevent any untoward incident when a fire actually happens.
3. Keep fire hazards away from heat sources. Always make this a priority to know which item in your business is easily combustible and is susceptible to heat. Common things like chemicals, LPG, paint and others are easily combustible so keep these away from all heat sources. Also maintain a no smoking policy inside the office and if some want to smoke then they should do it outside.
4. Install fire alarms. Smoke and heat detectors are very important. This should immediately be connected to a fire alarm so that people will easily be notified in cases where there is a fire emergency. However, be sure to have a protocol since sometimes this might just be a false alarm. Before making an evacuation, wait for the official announcement. Remember to also install quality fire detection and alarm systems. Installing cheap but faulty system will not help your business in the long run.
Be sure that these smoke and heat detectors will cover every inch of your business including rooms, hallways, elevators, pantry and other areas.
5. Remember to be careful of fire hazardous materials. Always remember to be careful of the following things:
- halogen lights
- matches and lighters
- space heaters
- cooking gadgets
6. Conduct fire drills regularly. Conduct regular fire drills in your office in partnership with the Bureau of Fire protection. This will keep you aware of how to improve your fire safety procedures. It will also give you a way to test your fire detection and alarm systems whether they are still in good condition. Remember that smoke detectors need to be replaced every 10 years depending on its brand and quality.
Fire drills will allow your employees to know how to respond during a fire emergency. Make them aware of the various fire safety precautions installed in your office and how to be aware of them (fire alarm, fire escape plan, etc.)
7. Remember this guide in using fire extinguishers.
Remember the acronym PASS when using a fire extinguisher.
- P – Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you.
- A – Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- S – Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side
Use a portable fire extinguisher ONLY if you have been trained by the fire department and in the following conditions:
- The fire is confined to a small area, and is not growing.
- The room is not filled with smoke.
- Everyone has exited the building.
- The fire department has been called.
8. Remember this during a fire emergency:
- Don’t panic.
- Follow the fire safety escape plan.
- When you are inside a room feel the door first before opening it. If it is not hot and you can still get out, follow the floor’s escape plan.
- If you are inside the room and the fire is near you be sure to close all possible smoke entrance with a damp cloth. Position yourself near a window so that other people will see you. In cases where the room has no window, immediately contact the person in charge and inform him of your situation. Do not panic.
- If you caught fire, remember to roll down on the floor to remove the fire.
- While escaping wet your handkerchief and keep your head low to avoid being suffocated.
9. Remember this after the fire emergency.
- Give first aid where appropriate.
- Seriously injured victims should be transported to professional medical help immediately. Stay out of the damaged building.
- Return only when fire authorities say it is safe.
10. Plan and prepare. The best solution to keep your business safe from fire is to plan and prepare ahead of time. We highly recommend that you read this article on Fire Detection and Alarm System (FDAS) so that you can maximize fire safety in your business and even at home.
Thanks for reading this 10 quick tips on fire safety. Be sure to share this as well so that others will know, who knows you might just save a life.
Want to add more fire safety tips? If you do then just post it in the comment section below.