Fire is extraordinarily helpful. It gave humans the first form of portable light and heat. It also gave us the ability to cook food, forge metal tools, pottery, harden bricks and drive power plants. As much good can be derived, it can also be devastatingly destructive. It has the ability to destroy an entire building under an hour, and it can reduce an entire forest to a pile of ash and charred wood. In order to prevent or deal with such calamities, we delve into details of all you need to know.
The best and cost effective measures include those that are intended to prevent the start of fire in the first place. However as humans, we are prone to error which could lead to a fire outbreak. Naked candles flame, overloading of electricity, bad wiring, fake electrical equipment, and many other oversight can be the cause of an outbreak. Protective measures should be put in place to manage the situation for safety of lives and properties.
Protective or safety measures include those that are planned during the construction of a building or implemented in structures that are already existing, and those that are taught to occupants of the building (operating Fire Alarm System). Certain items in the surrounding can prove as threats to safety. A fire hazard may include a situation that increases the likelihood of an outbreak or may impede escape in the event of an outbreak.
BEFORE A FIRE OUTBREAK,
- First, always apprise yourself of entry and exit points in every building.
- Also, remember that smoke at the initial stage covers the environment from up and gradually spread to down and every corner. As such, you may be forced to crouch or crawl to escape to safety.
- Be aware of your surroundings and knowledge of the nearest exit in case of an outbreak.
WHEN IT OCCURS:
- Move quickly to the nearest accessible EXIT POINT.
- Raise an alarm.
- Manually activate the alarm call point.
- Exit the building to “Assembly Point” immediately.
- From a safe location, contact the Fire Brigade.
- Do an headcount.
IF CAUGHT IN SMOKE:
- Drop to hands and knees and crawl towards the nearest exit.
- Stay low; smoke naturally rises to ceiling level first.
- Hold your breath as much as possible;
- Breathe through your nose; and
- Use a filter such as a shirt, towel or handkerchief.
WHEN SHOULD YOU USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER?
- Only if you are trained and confident in its application.
- Only if the fire is small in size.
THE CLASSES OF FIRE
There are six classes: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, ‘Electrical’, and Class F.
- Class A – combustible materials: caused by flammable solids, such as wood, paper, and fabric
- Class B – flammable liquids: such as petrol, turpentine or paint
- Class C – flammable gases: like hydrogen, butane or methane
- Class D – combustible metals: chemicals such as magnesium, aluminum or potassium
- Electrical – electrical equipment: once the electrical item is removed, the fire changes class.
- Class F – cooking oils: typically a chip-pan fire
CHOOSE THE RIGHT FIRE EXTINGUISHER
The various kind of extinguishers can put out fire caused by different kind of fuel. The risk from the different classes of fire in your business premises will determine which extinguisher types you need. Also, make sure that you have the right size and weight of extinguishers as well as the right kind.
Whilst there are 5 main types of extinguishers, there are different versions of both the Water and Dry Powder extinguishers, meaning there are a total of 8 extinguisher types to choose from: Water Spray, Foam, Water, Dry Powder – Standard, Dry Powder – Specialist, Carbon Dioxide (‘CO2’), Water Mist, and Wet Chemical.
Note: There is no one extinguisher type which works on all classes of fire.
HOW TO USE FIRE EXTINGUISHER
PASS method is a simple usage training technique
Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
Aim the hose nozzle low toward the base of the fire.
Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until extinguished.
- Regularly inspect and maintain or replace firefighting equipment.
- Place an adequate number of equipment in plain view in your work areas.
- Provide employees with proper training in prevention and protection.
- Prohibit smoking at or around work areas where flammable materials are present. Put up signs, clearly marked “NO SMOKING”.
- Configure an alarm system that consists of both visual and audible signals (like bells, sirens, whistles, blinking lights).
Always remember to call the fire department in the case of an outbreak. To learn more and other security measures, contact the professionals
Contact: 07056510307, 08096247968, 08033797978