Fire prevention and safety tips you need to know

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Fire prevention and safety tips you need to know
Fire Extinguisher is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations. Image Credit: Pixabay

March is one of the hottest months in the country. According to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), March is the month where the temperature and humidity starts to reach high levels, causing high temperature in the country. The hot dry season also runs from March to May.

And since March is Fire prevention month, here are some safety tips you need to know in order to avoid  or prevent fire.

Fire Prevention

  • Place the number of the nearest fire station in your place right beside your telephone or at least save it in your phone.
  • Unplug gadgets or any appliances from electrical socket when not in use.
  • Never overload circuits as well, having a lot of electronics plugged in from electrical socket can be a hazard.
  • Dispose materials that can easily be caught by fire, like paper, gasoline, alcohol, rubbish or paint.
  • Keep away matches and lighters from the reach of children.
  • Install smoke alarms in your house or in your workplace. Smoke alarms can sense abnormal amounts of smoke and invisible burning gases in the air.
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths, in order to prevent this better smoke outside, choose fire-safe cigarettes and don’t smoke in bed when you’re drowsy or medicated.
  • Never leave light sources unattended. Candles, gas lamps or oil lamps should be placed away from curtains.
  • Replace faulty wirings because this might lead to fire just make sure to check any exposed wires in your appliances.
  • Blown fuses should never be replaced with wires or any metal.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher handy. Portable fire extinguisher is best to keep in case there’s fire.
  • Have an escape plan practice, there should be a fire exit in your home or in your working place.
  • Use sturdy ashtrays, douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before you disposed it.
  • Place those oily rags in a covered metal container to avoid fire. It should be properly disposed on a regular basis.
  • Learn to use and store chemicals safely. To determine flammability and other fire hazards, read the label and the material safety data sheet. Adequate ventilation is needed when usinng and storing these substances.

In the event of a Fire

  • Immediately call the hotline for the fire station in your area.
  • In case of fire, don’t hide instead go outside.
  • In case you get burned, learn to drop-cover-roll to put out the fire. Drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands and roll over, back and forth until the fire is out.
  • Feel the door knob and the door before opening it. If it is hot leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • Slowly open the door if you open it and be ready to shut it quickly if there is heavy smoke and fire.
  • Close the door when exiting to limit the spread of smoke and fire.
  • Avoid using elevators during an evacuation.
  • If the flames or smoke block your exit routes, stay in a room with doors closed and place a wet towel under the door. You need to open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
  • Get low and go under the smoke to your exit if you must escape.
  • Follow the escape plan and proceed to the designated assembly area outside the building.

After a Fire

  • Do a head count to make sure that everyone’s safe.
  • If you need temporary housing, food or medicines, contact your local disaster relief service.
  • Secure the site. Make sure that the fire site is safe from any further damage by weather, theft or vandalism.
  • If you are planning to leave the site, make sure to remove any valuable remaining in the building.
  • Those household wiring which may have been water damaged should be checked first by a licensed electrician before the power is turned back on.
  • Discard all the food, drink and medicines that have been exposed to heat, soot or smoke.
  • Freezers and refrigerators that was left unopened will hold their temperature for a short time yet never attempt to refreeze melted items.
  • If the electricity, gas or water is disconnected make sure to have them checked and reconnected to a licensed trade person. Never attempt to reconnect it by yourself.
  • Make sure to keep all the receipts for any money you spend because you can use it to show the insurance company what money you have spent related to your fire loss.
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