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Life can change in a split second. A fire outbreak/explosion is one such calamity that can change lives forever. Whether it is a residential building or an industry, not following a proper emergency procedure during a fire outbreak can result in irreversible damage. We shall examine common errors committed by individuals during a fire outbreak that should be avoided.
Overestimating the time at hand
Once a fire breaks out and you realize it, action should be immediately taken to evacuate yourself and others from the area. Do not try to extinguish the fire in absence of proper tools and expertise. Sometimes people commit the mistake of wrongly predicting how much time it will take before the fire engulfs the room and the victims end up losing access to the escape routes.
Don't come back for valuable items
Your college certificates, identity cards, jewelry, and house papers can always be regained. But once you lose your life, it cannot be restored. After stepping out of the affected area, never try to step back in for valuables. These days, with the focus on the digital economy and services like digital lockers, important items like identity cards and money can be retracted easily.
Do not panic or be grief-stricken
Sometimes panic or grief over the damage caused by the fire causes a person to act hastily and cause greater tragedies. There are many examples of Fire situations when due to panic people tripped or caused a stampede causing greater loss of lives. Keeping a calm mind will help everyone get out of the situation unharmed.
Do not underestimate the smoke
Fearing the burns caused due to the flames, people often tend to forget about the perils of smoke. There have been many incidents of casualties due to suffocation while waiting to be rescued. Avoid the path of smoke during an escape.
Fire generates heat!
Many survivors have reported burns caused on hands after touching the door knobs or metal handles while trying to escape a fire-gutted room. One should be mindful of touching surfaces that are good conductors of heat e.g, metals. Indirect touch through a thick cloth/towel is advised.
Trying to operate a fire extinguisher without training
Sometimes people think that all types of fire extinguishers are good to use in all types of fires. Traditionally, some people even try to extinguish the fire by pouring buckets of water without knowing the class of the fire. Furthermore, many people get injured or suffocated while operating the fire extinguisher as they are not aware of the PASS principle [Pull(Pin)-Aim- Squeeze- Sweep]. Basic training in extinguishers is mandatory for all places.
Running in all directions during an evacuation
While all organized residential premises and industries have escape routes and assembly points during emergencies, however, still in panic people end up running and creating chaos. This should be avoided by organizing advance fire drills and outlining evacuation procedures.
In the case of fire, prevention is always better than evacuation and firefighting. Fire drills, smoke detectors, extinguishers, and training are life-saving activities and tools to prevent the loss of lives. One should adopt precautionary measures and avoid emergency situations.