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By: Shilonie E. Adoptante
Most of the casualties reported at fire incidents were not because of the flame itself but because of being trapped and suffocated by smoke. Lack of knowledge about what should be done and reacting blindly because of panic are the problems encountered during a fire that cause a larger disaster. Because of this, the Bureau of Fire Protection made a list of recommendations in case people are trapped inside a burning building.
- Position yourself in a room with windows leading outdoors.
- Alert that people outside that you are still in the burning building; Shout for help or get a light-colored cloth and wave it outside the window.
- Seal your room. Close the doors and cover any gaps with towels or sheets to prevent smoke from coming in.
- If trapped in the upper floors of the building, try to collect bedsheets and foam cushions or mattresses. These could help you when escaping through the window.
- Do not run if your clothes catch fire. Instead, stop moving, drop to the ground, and roll.
- Clear flammable debris from the window. Rip off curtains and anything else that may burn.
- Don’t break the glass. You may need to close it against smoke entering from the outside. If the air outside is fresh, open the window a little.
(Source: “Prevent fire through good housekeeping,” by the Bureau of Fire Protection)
The mentioned recommendations must be discussed with the whole family at home and workers at their office. Such tips must be shared and discussed with others so that the risk will be reduced.
Above all these recommendations, the presence of mind and calmness must be present when encountering such disasters. Because even if we already memorized all these recommendations, when panic strikes, everything becomes chaotic and worse.
To prevent this worst case scenario from happening, install your fire alarm systems now!
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