Every second counts when battling a fire in an enclosed space. Even a small fire can spread really quickly, engulfing the entire place in flames, if proper precautions are not taken to diffuse it in time. Here are a few tips on how to handle yourself if you come across a fire in a building.
When faced with bigger fires
In some cases, the fire might have already spread far enough to be beyond our control. During such times, it is important to focus on evacuating the building as the primitive fire extinguishers are hardly enough to control the fire.
The first step is to pull the nearest fire alarm. This will alert the inhabitants of the building, prompting them to leave the premises as fast as possible.
When evacuating, make sure to touch the doors for heat before opening them. This will ensure that you do not blindly walk into a room where the fire has already spread.
If the smoke has already spread throughout the facility, then it is recommended that you crawl on the floor. Smoke is heavier than air, thus fresh air accumulates on the bottom of the floor, while smoke “floats” above it. If possible, you should cover your nose and mouth with a damp towel while you crawl through on the floor to reduce the amount of smoke you inhale.
Make sure to stay near the walls while you move out of the building. This will prevent disorientation and will help keep you in a defined path instead of having you running around in circles.
Once you have found refuge, make sure to get appropriate medical aid. Having traversed through snow might have taken a toll on your lungs, and you should have access to fresh air in order to flush out most of the toxic smoke you have inhaled.
Handling small fire hazards
If the fire is small/ just starting out, then you can grab the nearest fire extinguisher and put it out yourself. This will ensure that the fire does not compound, thus saving the building and possibly lives of many. Once the fire has been diffused, you will have to notify the security/ safety personnel about the situation who will then investigate into the cause of the fire, which will help them prevent such mishaps in future.
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