Last year, wildfires in California destroyed thousands of acres of land across the northern and southern portions of the state. These wildfires spread quickly and led to mandatory evacuations in many cities and towns. They also have raised questions about how people can handle the dangers associated with fire emergencies.
The California wildfires ultimately may lead more people to learn about fire safety training. Believe it or not, anyone can administer critical aid during a fire. In fact, if you can stay focused during a fire emergency, you should have no trouble delivering vital support to those in need.
Now, let’s take a look at 15 things that you can do during a fire to ensure the safety and well-being of yourself and others.
- Pull the Fire Alarm
As you exit a burning building, pull the fire alarm. This will notify other people in the building and emergency responders about the blaze.
If you hear a fire alarm in a building, you should exit the building immediately. There is no need to delay, even if you think the alarm was used for a drill. Instead, vacate the premises as quickly as possible.
- Call 911
When it comes to fires, it is a good idea to err on the side of caution. At the first sign of a blaze, call 911. Provide the 911 operator with your name, address and other relevant information and stay on the line with him or her until emergency responders are dispatched. Follow any instructions that the operator provides as well.
- Yell for Help
Even a small fire can escalate quickly. If you see flames or smoke and don’t know what to do, yell for help. This will let others know that you are in danger and need assistance.
- Know the Risks Associated with Wildfires
Wildfires are unwanted fires that burn in natural areas and can affect anyone, at any time. Wildfires can be unpredictable depending on the temperature and winds. If you understand wildfires, you can keep yourself and others out of danger during these emergencies.
- Remain Calm
A building fire or wildfire may lead to panic, particularly for those who are unprepared. If you develop an evacuation plan for fire emergencies, you’ll be better equipped than ever before to stay calm in any fire, regardless of its size or severity.
- Follow Instructions
If firefighters tell you to evacuate during a wildfire, follow their instructions. Firefighters are expert emergency responders and are committed to doing whatever they can to help you stay safe. With firefighters’ instructions, you can get the help you need to keep yourself and others out of harm’s way.
- Grab Your Emergency Preparedness Kit
An emergency preparedness kit should include a flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, dust mask, food, water, and other essentials. Keep this kit in a spot in your home that is easy to access on short notice. This will ensure you can quickly grab your emergency preparedness kit and take it with you if you are forced to evacuate your home during a building fire or wildfire.
- Stay Low
If you need to exit a building that catches fire, get down on your hands and knees and crawl to stay below the smoke. Remember, smoke and polluted air are poisonous, so you’ll want to do everything possible to avoid these life-threatening dangers. If you stay low to the ground, you can limit the risk of smoke inhalation as you vacate a building.
- Cover Your Nose
During a fire, you can use your shirt or a damp towel to cover your nose. This will help prevent smoke from entering your lungs. Also, you can use your shirt or a damp towel to cover the faces of any children.
- Use the Stairs
Stairs are the safest option for vacating a building during a fire. Additionally, you should avoid elevators at all costs during a fire.
- Utilize a Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher can make a world of difference in a fire emergency. To use a fire extinguisher, you first need to pull the extinguisher’s pin and point the nozzle away from you. Next, aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Squeeze the extinguisher lever slowly and evenly and sweep from side to side until the fire is completely extinguished.
Oftentimes, instructions that detail how to properly use a fire extinguisher are printed on or near the device itself. But keep in mind that a fire emergency is a high-stress situation, and it may be tough for a person to read and follow these instructions under duress. Thus, it may be beneficial to learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher to ensure you are fully prepared for fire emergencies.
- Stop, Drop and Roll
Unfortunately, a person’s clothing may catch fire during a fire or by accident. In this situation, you should stop whatever you’re doing, drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands and roll. By doing so, you can stop air from feeding the fire and extinguish any flames.
If you suffer burns due to a fire emergency, cool the burned skin as soon as all of the flames are extinguished. Continue to do this for three to five minutes and seek additional medical aid.
- Get Outside As Quickly As You Can
Try to get outside of a burning building as quickly as you can. If possible, use an escape route that enables you to exit through a door that takes you directly outdoors.
Once you exit a burning building, do not go back into the building. Firefighters and other first responders are trained to go into a building to rescue people and animals. And remember: many of the items inside the building likely can be replaced.
If you cannot exit a building safely due to smoke or fire, close the door and stay where you are until emergency responders arrive. In the event that smoke is entering the room from under or around a door, you can use blankets, clothing or sheets to fill this empty space.
- Search for Loved Ones
If you get separated from family members and friends during a fire, try to locate these loved after you get to safety. It often helps to have a central meeting location for loved ones in the event of a fire or other emergencies. That way, you can let your loved ones know that you are safe.
- Stay Informed
A wildfire may take several hours or days to extinguish. Listen to emergency channels to stay up to date about the status of a wildfire, and do not return home until authorities have determined it is safe to do so.
With fire safety training, an individual will know what to do during a fire emergency. Whether it’s a widespread wildfire or a small home fire, a person who possesses fire safety training will understand how to manage the situation and minimize its impact. Perhaps most important, this individual will be able to help others stay safe until firefighters and emergency services personnel arrive on scene.
SureFire CPR offers comprehensive fire safety training programs geared toward hospitals in Los Angeles. Our fire safety classes are taught by expert instructors and promote collaboration and participation. Plus, our classes provide students with in-depth insights into how they can deliver life-saving assistance in fire emergencies including extinguisher use, patient drags and carries, and escape plans.
To learn more about SureFire CPR’s hospital fire safety training classes, please call us at (888) 277-3143.