March is Fire Prevention Consciousness Month.
Every March, we are again reminded of the importance of fire prevention. Every March, let’s make it a point to review our fire prevention plans in our house and in our place of work and then continually improve and reinforce.
Let’s all be aware and vigilant against FIRE, particularly on the prevention of its occurrence.
Here are Fire Safety Tips from the Bureau of Fire Protection (2014) – http://www.gov.ph/laginghanda/fire-safety
Fire prevention: What should you have in your home?
- Smoke alarms
- Fire extinguishers
- Emergency exit plan
Fire prevention: How do I prevent fire hazards at home?
- Never leave your cooking unattended.
- Matches and lighters should be kept out of reach of children.
- Stoves must be clean and grease-free; check LPG for leaks with soapy water.
- Do not douse a burning frying pan with water, but instead cover it with a lid or a damp cloth.
- Unplug all idle electrical appliances.
- Avoid overloading outlets and using worn-out cords.
- Do not store items on the stove top.
- Keep flammable liquids and other combustible items away from the stove when cooking.
- Replace smoke alarm batteries every six months.
Living room and bedrooms
- Do not use extension cords as permanent outlets; do not loop them around sharp objects that may cause cords to fray open.
- Make sure curtains are away from electric fan blades.
- Do not leave an electric fan switched on when it is no longer rotating; regularly clean and oil household electric fans.
- Do not delay fixing defective appliances.
- Unplug rice cookers and clothes irons promptly after use.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Place candles in holders or a basin partly filled with water.
- Put out candles before going to bed.
- Remove dried leaves, cobwebs, loose paper, and other easy-burning debris from the living area.
Storage and garage areas
- Keep areas clean and tidy with items properly placed for storage.
- Do not store large quantities of flammable liquids in the house or basement areas such as:
- Paints and solvents
- Motor lubricants
- Floor wax/liquid polishes
- Adhesives (i.e., rugby)
- Alcohol products
- Oily rags, newspapers, and other trash must be disposed in a safe waste bag or container.
- Clean up spilled oil and grease from vehicles promptly.
- Plug power tools straight into sockets; if extensions must be used use only heavy-duty extensions.
- Keep your garage well-ventilated to avoid buildup of fumes and heat from tools.
What do I do when a fire breaks out?
- A well-rehearsed emergency exit plan greatly alleviates panic during an outbreak of fire.
- Try to close the door of the burning room and close all the doors behind you as you leave. This is to delay the spread of fire and smoke.
- Before you open a door, feel it with the back of your hand to determine if the room behind it is burning.
- Fumes and hot air settle at the ceiling; the best air is one to two feet from the floor. Crawl to the exit with a wet piece of cloth to cover your mouth.
- Fire spreads at a very fast rate, doubling its volume every 30 seconds. It is of the utmost priority to get everyone out before you consider your possessions.
- Never go back into the burning building until a firefighter declares it safe to do so. Even after flames have been put out, there is still the risk of a roof collapse, live wires, and a backdraft.*
*A backdraft is an explosion that occurs when oxygen suddenly meets very hot temperatures and fuel.
What do I do if I’m trapped in a fire?
- Position yourself in a room with windows leading outdoors.
- Alert that people outside that you are still in the burning building; Shout for help or get a light-colored cloth and wave it outside the window.
- Seal your room. Close the doors and patch any gaps with towels or sheets to prevent smoke from coming in.
- If trapped in the upper floors of the building, try to collect bedsheets and foam cushions or mattresses. These could help you when escaping through the window.
- Do not run if your clothes catch fire. Instead, stop moving, drop to the ground, and roll.
- Clear flammable debris from the window. Rip off curtains and anything else that may burn.
- Don’t break the glass. You may need to close it against smoke entering from the outside. If the air outside is fresh, open the window a little.