How to stay safe during a fire in a building

Date:19 July 2021 Tags:, , , ,

The current protest and looting that has been taking place in South Africa continues to affect many families and businesses as their safety is placed in danger.

South Africa has witnessed the terrifying video of a baby being thrown out of a high-rise building as alleged looters have set alight the ground shops and a man who shared on Twitter that he is trapped inside a burning building on the 3rd floor and was requesting assistance as there was no response from the emergency rescue.

Both events have been reported to have occurred in Durban and although the people managed to get to safety in time, this calls for safety measures to be taken to ensure the safety of people who work or reside in buildings.

Following these recent events, Evac+Chair – South Africa shares safety measures that you can take should you find yourself caught in a situation where there is a fire in your building:

Pull the fire alarm

If your building is on fire and you are nearby the fire alarm, pull the fire alarm on your way out to alert your neighbours and the fire department in time. Early warnings can help increase time for everyone to evacuate safely before the fire and smoke block all the escape routes.

Do not use the elevator 

A key tip when you find yourself stuck in a burning high-rise building is to ensure that you do not use the elevator but rather use the stairways. This is because the fire may affect the electric system in the building and this may result in faulty cables on the elevator which may prevent the doors to open when you have to get out. Using stairs provides time for you to safely evacuate the building.

Keep low

Smoke is harmful to your health and can be deadly. In the event of a fire, ensure to stay low and move under the smoke as you exit the building. This will help reduce the amount of smoke you inhale.

Stay by the windows

If you’re unable to escape the fire, if possible, stay near a window to let fresh air enter. You can also use the window to wave at the firefighters by using a flashlight or bright coloured cloth to show them where you are located.

Seal the smoke out

In case you’re trapped in a room and all the escape routes are blocked by the fire or smoke, call your local fire department to inform them of your exact location and seal yourself in for safety while you wait for their arrival. Close all doors to keep the fire or smoke from entering and seal the small openings around them as well as the air vents with towels.

“The current events that taking place in our country is quite saddening and go against what we value; which is creating safe spaces for everyone. We advise people to stay safe and to be aware of the needs of their neighbours should they need assistance in evacuating the building due to an emergency. The job of the fire department is made so much easier to fight the fire if all the buildings occupants are accounted for,” said CEO and Owner of Evac+Chair – South Africa.

Picture: Unsplash

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