Fire safety in your workplace is just as important as fire safety in your home. Knowing what to do when you discover a fire can be the difference between life and death in certain situations. When you discover a fire, keeping calm and thinking rationally is paramount to getting out the building safely and efficiently.
To ensure that you keep your wits about you during a potential fire incident, we’ve created a comprehensive list of actions we advise you take for your own safety and that of your peers. The key to staying safe is education!
We recommend sharing this blog post with friends, family and colleagues so they are aware of how their actions could prevent a fire or save a life.
If you discover a fire in the workplace, get out of the building as soon as you can. Calmly make your way in an orderly fashion to the nearest signposted fire exit. The less time you spend in and around the toxic gasses, the less likely you will be harmed by the fire.
Raise The Alarm
In the event of a fire, make sure that you pull or smash the fire alarm, alerting other people in the building that there is a fire and to make their way to the closest exit.
Call The Fire Brigade
The British Fire Brigade are well equipped and trained to deal with any potential fire incidents. To ensure the safety of yourself and that of your peers, it is essential that you call the fire brigade as soon as possible, to prevent the spread to other neighbouring buildings. In the UK, our emergency number is 999. You can call the fire brigade, Ambulance Service or the Police from this number.
Do Not Go Back Inside
When a fire is ablaze, it can spread very quickly and cause damage to a building’s structure in minutes, making it that much more dangerous and unstable. Even if you have left your personal belongings in the building, do not go back inside for them, no matter how important they are to you. Your personal safety is more important than anything else. Endangering yourself will also endanger those who have been trained to extinguish the fire. Not only will this slow down the entire process of putting it out, but re-entering the building unnecessarily means that a member of the firefighting team will have to search through the wreckage to pull you out safely.
Using A Fire Extinguisher
In certain cases when the fire is a manageable size, a fire extinguisher will be enough to snuff out the flame. If you use a fire extinguisher and it does not put the blaze out, it’s time to vacate the premises. Safely drop the fire extinguisher, out of the path of those around you and head to the nearest fire exit.
Do Not Use The Lift
When a fire breaks out, the use of lifts, elevators and electrical equipment is not recommended. We advise to refrain from using these as they could be structurally unsafe, could get stuck, or stop working altogether when you are trying to escape. The carriage and lift shafts do not have any means of preventing the inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, which could lead to fatalities. Unless you physically cannot due to a disability, always use the stairs in the event of a fire.
Check The Doors
It is a natural tendency to automatically open a door when trying to leave a room or building. However, if you are trying to escape from a fire through a closed door, you first need to feel the door to see if it’s hot to the touch. Ensure that you repeat this action for the cracks around the door and the doorknob. If the door is in fact hot, then this means that there is a risk of fire engulfing you, if you open the door. If it feels cool to the touch, then we advise to open the door slowly and check to see whether it is safe to use as a means of escape. If there seems to be no alternative door available, it is time to consider finding a window that is as close to the ground level as possible.
Close The Doors Behind You
In the event of a fire, you should always ensure that you close any doors that you have opened during your escape, especially if they are heavy duty fire doors. Fire doors are designed to prevent or greatly lessen the spread of a fire, giving people within the building a longer amount of time to escape and the emergency services more time to put out the fire.
Closing regular doors during a fire is also very important because it provides another barrier for the fire to burn through before it can spread further and cause extended damage. Always remember that there could be someone still in the building who is trying to escape that you may not be able to hear. Shutting a door after you have used it will mean they have more free escape routes.
If there is no alternative but to escape through smoke, crawl as low as you can through the fire to exit. Smoke travels upwards, so the lower you are to the ground, the less toxic the air will be.
Hang A Sheet Out The Window
This is the last resort! You should ONLY do this if all available exit routes are unsafe, and you are located on a floor level that is too high to be able to safely jump from. Open a window for ventilation, and hang a sheet or a large item of clothing outside. This ensures that firefighters can see you are trapped. When firefighters arrive at the site of a fire, the first thing they will check for is if there are trapped persons in the building. Hanging or waving an item of clothing outside the window signals to them that there are people stuck inside.
Keep Your Dry Riser Clear
A dry riser is a water point located in various places in the building. It is designed so that even when a building is on fire, the fire department has safe and available points to attach their hose. It is essential that these points are kept clear and unobstructed so that the fire brigade is able to efficiently prevent the fire from spreading further. We offer dry riser maintenance and installation in Wolverhampton and surrounding areas.
Fire Safety Summary
Hopefully, the tips we’ve provided will help ensure your safety in the event of a fire. A fire will give no warning when it is about to start. With many businesses and homes using multiple electrical systems and devices, oil-based cooking facilities and highly combustible items such as wood and paper, all it takes is a spark. Always remember that taking actionable steps to prevent a fire is mandatory to the safety of yourself, your family and colleagues. When it comes to fire, don’t take any chances – your safety is paramount.
How Can Banner Fire Help You?
For many years, we have been educating businesses and homes in Wolverhampton and surrounding areas about the importance of fire safety, the installation of preventative measures and the maintenance of dry risers for commercial and domestic use.
You can get in touch with us via email or call 01902 700620 to speak with a member of our friendly team. We recommend making sure that your business has up to date fire protection, that your fire alarms and sprinklers are tested regularly and that your team has had the appropriate fire awareness training. Fire safety can be a matter of life and death, a fire does not give a warning and we offer preventative solutions and safety equipment.