Fire Safety Awareness

Every year, over 5,000 homes suffer from accidental fires.

welcomeMany of these tragedies are caused by carelessness and could be easily prevented. A home on fire is dangerous and lethal. It can damage only your properties, but also take the lives of your loved ones. Therefore, it is essential for every household to be aware of possible fire hazards in and out of the home to take necessary precaution towards fire prevention and also dealing with fire.

Causes of Fire

  • Children – children playing with matches or lighters are a major cause of home fires.
  • Electrical appliances – lamps, toasters, heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators and even televisions face the risk of short circuiting.
  • Accidents – leaving a curling iron on, electric blanket, dropped cigarettes, electric heaters, etc.
  • Faulty electrical wiring – homes that are built decades ago are prone to faulty electrical wiring.
  • Overload of electrical outlets.
  • Unattended stoves – stoves that are accidentally left on can be very dangerous to start a fire.
  • Lightning – on rare instances, lightning can cause fire to a house.

What to do

  • Stay calm. A clear head gives you a higher chance of escaping from a fire.
  • Should your clothes catch fire, stop, drop on the floor and roll until the fire is extinguished. If you have a fire blanket, use the fire blanket to wrap around yourself to extinguish the fire. Do not run as it will make the fire burn faster.
  • Check closed doors for heat before you open them.
  • If you are escaping through a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, the door knob, and the crack between the door and the door frame before you open it. Never use your palm or fingers to test for heat.
  • Should the door be hot, do not open. Escape through an alternate exit.
  • Should the door be cool, open slowly and ensure that fire or smoke is not blocking your escape route.
  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit. Use an escape smoke mask to filter hazardous toxin gases.
  • Close doors behind you as you escape to delay the spread of fire.
  • If possible, hang light coloured materials outside the window to attract attention.
  • In condominiums or high-rise buildings, always use the fire escape stairs and not the elevators.
  • For small fires, use a fire extinguisher.
  • Once you are out, never re-enter your burning home. Call the fire services department instead.

Fire Prevention at Home

  • Should you need to display candles, ensure that you put them in a sturdy, non-combustible holder. Do not locate candles by windows or doors where there may be a breeze.
  • Do not allow tree branches to hang over your roof and clean the gutters regularly to avoid buildup of debris.
  • Ensure that your electrical appliances are in good condition (without loose or frayed cords, wires or plugs).
  • Avoid overloading your electrical outlets with plugs.
  • Check and ensure that the bulbs in your home are of the correct wattage.
  • Do not run electrical wiring under a rug or carpet.
  • Make sure lamps or bulbs are not in contact with bedspreads, drapes, curtains or other fabrics.
  • Always turn the pots, kettles and cookers to face inward to avoid the handles being knocked down.
  • When smoking, be extra careful around upholstered furniture and never smoke in bed. Ensure that cigarettes are completely put out before disposing them.
  • Do not leave the stove turned on and unattended.
  • Never allow children to play with matches or lighters.
  • Teach your children about the dangers of fire.

Additional Tips

  • Equip your home with a fire extinguisher and ensure that your family members know how to use it.
  • Equip each member of your family with an escape smoke mask and ensure that they know how to use it.
  • Equip your kitchen with a fire blanket and ensure your family members know how to use it.
  • Plan an emergency escape route from your home and ensure that your family members remember it.
  • Write down the address of your home and display it next to the telephone for ease of reference during an emergency call.
  • Keep all important keys in a place where it is easily-accessible and replace the keys in the same place after use.