Fires could break out anytime, anywhere – in your home, in a restaurant or even at the office. In such an emergency, how do you increase your chances of survival? According to the Singapore Civil Defence Force, there were more than 3,4001 fire emergencies attended to in 2014. Most could have been easily prevented or dealt with if these 5 fire safety tips were adhered to.
Prevention is key…
1. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail
Know clearly where the emergency fire escape routes in your building are. Always prepare alternative routes of escape and set a meeting point with your family or employees beforehand. Make sure the sick, aged, disabled and young are not left behind. It is also crucial to carry out fire drills in a realistic manner so that everyone is well-informed.
2. No pressure
The proper maintenance of fire service installations and equipment (FSI) could prevent fatal injuries. Ensure any FSI installed on the premises is inspected annually by a Registered Fire Service Installation Contractor. Portable fire extinguishers must undergo a hydraulic pressure test once every five years to ensure that it is kept in efficient working order all the time.
In case of emergencies…
3. Somebody call 999
The first thing to do in a fire is to sound the nearest fire alarm by breaking the glass unit. Where possible, call the Fire Services Department immediately to alert them of the emergency by dialing ‘999’.
4. Stop, drop & roll
If your clothing catches fire, stop what you are doing, lie down immediately with your hands protecting your face, and roll across the floor. Ideally, wrap yourself in any textile fabric (e.g. carpet, blanket, coat, curtain, etc.) when rolling on the floor. However, do not waste time searching for them if these are not close at hand.
5. Tackle an opponent your size
Tackle the fire using the fire fighting equipment around you only if it is SAFE to do so. Never use water to put out fires from live wires or any electrical origin as it may cause an electric shock .
If the fire is out of control at home, quickly leave with these three useful items: mobile phone, keys and a wet towel. If smoke is blocking your view of the exit, get down on all fours to crawl towards safety as the air is fresher closer to the ground (as smoke rises and can suffocate you if inhaled).
For additional protection against unforeseen events such as a fire, you can consider home insurance to cover any personal losses or damages.
1Total number of fire calls involving residential and non-residential premises, excluding non-building places