Fire in your building? Call 101 first

Support Citizen Matters - independent, Reader-funded media that covers your city like no other.

Assessing fire safety is crucial to any building – residential or commercial. What’s important is to be prepared to tackle the fire. Here’s a checklist of what you can do in case of a fire emergency and how you can be equipped to fight a fire in your building.

Advertisement

What to do in a fire emergency

  • In case of a fire, call 101 immediately. Never assume someone else has already done so
  • In a fire, activate the fire alarm in your building and shout FIRE at the top of your voice to alert others – yelling anything else can mean that others take longer to realise the seriousness of the situation
  • Do not get into a lift/elevator when there is a fire. Use the stairs
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a wet cloth when caught in smoke
  • If you are caught in a room with smoke and cannot find a way out, close the door and seal all cracks with wet towels and sheets to prevent smoke from coming in
  • If your building is on fire, unless you are trapped, get out, stay out and call the fire service on 101
  • Heavy smoke and poisonous gases first collect along the ceiling. If there is smoke, keep low to the ground where the air is cleaner
  • Exercise caution when opening a window during a fire – it can bring in smoke or fan a flame
  • If trapped, listen to instructions from authorised personnel
  • If your clothes catch fire, do not run as it will fan the flames. Lie down and roll around. Smother the flames with heavy material like a blanket or coat

Be prepared for a fire emergency

  • Make yourself familiar with where the fire fighting equipment in your building is located
  • Regularly take a walk around to make yourself familiar with the fire escape routes in your building
  • Do not use walkways, corridors and passages as storage areas
  • Ensure that your building association organises fire drills once every six months and that you have a designated safe assembly area in your building
  • Regularly clean away waste material from your building that can burn easily
  • Make sure there are people in your office or apartment specially trained to deal with emergencies like fires
  • Those with special needs or differently-abled should discuss emergency plans with family, friends and employers

Fire safety equipment

  • Invest in a smoke alarm for your home or office
  • Make sure the smoke and fire alarms, public address system, water hydrants and fire extinguishers in your buildings are in working condition
  • Check the date on the fire extinguisher. Make sure it has been serviced and refilled on time
  • Learn how to use a fire extinguisher and when to use one

What not to do

  • Crowds around a building on fire can hamper emergency and rescue services. Call 101 and exit from the area
  • If you are not trained in emergency and fire safety, do not shout instructions to those trapped. You may confuse and mislead them
  • Do not secure fire exit doors in a manner where they cannot be opened easily
  • Do not open the door to a room if the door feels hot when touched with the back of your hand
  • Cigarettes should be smoked only in designated smoking areas where there are ashtrays. Do not smoke in bed or when you are sleepy


Get the Citizen Matters newsletter
About News Desk 970 Articles
The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.