Every year, fires destroy property worth millions of shillings. In worst case scenarios, fire disasters
cause death. In majority of fatalities, victims succumb to the effect of smoke and harmful gases
emitted by burning objects. Home fires are quite common in crowded residential areas. Normally, this is as a result of faulty or illegal power connections that are rampant in such areas. Carelessness and human error also contribute to house fires. Business premises are no exception. Majority of these cases can be avoided if people were more careful. Here are useful tips on how to behave in the event of a fire:

Preparation

It is important that you familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Make sure you understand the layout of the building you work in. This is easy considering that you go to work in the same building every day. Always be aware of where the fire exits are and how to get to them in the event of an emergency. Most people use lifts to get to their offices. This is okay and convenient especially if you happen to work in an office situated several floors up. Nonetheless, in a fire situation, you realize that you cannot use lifts. Also, thick smoke can lead to reduced visibility. You may have to crawl in order to safely escape. Your knowledge of where the exits are located will come in handy.

Avoid using the lifts

Never try using the elevators whenever a building you are in catches fire. Instead, walk to an exit and use the stairs. There are many risks associated with elevators. You might get stuck and suffocate in there. It is best you avoid them and take the stairs.

Raise an alarm

Most buildings are fitted with fire alarm systems. Quickly locate the nearest one and trigger the alarm. If you cannot find any, persistent shouts of “fire!” will help alert other people. Soon as you have done this, do not go towards the direction where you see smoke coming from. Find your way out of the building. Notify the fire brigade immediately. Do not assume that other people noticed the fire before you and called the fire brigade. Call them if you can. It is also advisable to notify the police and ambulance crews.

Leave the building

If you find the building you work in is on fire, do not try to regain entry. Simply walk away and proceed to the designated fire assembly point. Never try to go back for your personal belongings. Doing so could put your life and that of others in jeopardy. This is because, while everyone else is in a hurry to leave and save their souls, you could cause panic and confusion if you try to go in the opposite direction. Besides, you risk inhaling toxic fumes or being trapped inside the building.

Never attempt to fight fires unless they are small and you have been trained on fire fighting skills. If a fire appears big enough, activate the alarm, leave the building and notify fire emergency personnel. Always wait until the fire has been contained, your building inspected and declared before making your way back.

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