When a fire emergency happens, it’s very different from fire drills especially in the workplace. It will take a few moments for the fact that a fire is occurring to sink in then you try to scramble for your things before finding a way out. Some may have the presence of mind to look for the fire exit, others – in state of panic – will most likely go for the nearest way out. Hundreds of fire safety tips and attending fire drills once a year are really not enough to prepare you for the real thing but they do help. To help you stay safe during fire emergencies, Malayan put together just five things you absolutely have to remember:
- DO THIS NOW: Eliminate hazards. When we use up electricity or plug in gadgets and laptops, we easily forget the hazard we create. We are usually confident that our gadgets, extensions and octopus wires have their own safety measures to prevent fire. Sure they do but what we forget is damaged and/or overloaded electrical outlets, cords and cables may not only start a fire but they can easily worsen it. These are easily combustible objects. In fact, keep anything combustible away from electrical equipment to avoid inviting chances of a fire and to prevent fire from spreading easily. Keep anything away from fire exits as well. (Source: Atlantic Training)
- REMEMBER: Attend to fire alarms. Sometimes, alarms go off because of testing or they need maintenance. More often than not, when an alarm goes off, we’re usually wondering if it’s real so we stay seated or standing, looking awkwardly at our officemates, asking what that is about. It’s as if we’re waiting for someone to scream there’s a fire. Don’t do that! If it is a false alarm, don’t worry about looking ridiculous, do what you already practiced during fire drills. Get your survival kit (if able and with time) and leave the premises via fire exit in an orderly manner. If security personnel announce that it is just a glitch, then head on back to work after laughing about it. But always, always, take the fire alarm seriously. (Source: Atlantic Training)
- DO THIS NOW: Learn how to work an extinguisher. During fire drills, local firemen would explain different types of fire extinguishers and demonstrate how to use them. They would even ask a volunteer to give it a try. The problem with that is they are speaking to an audience of at least 200 in open air so barely anyone would understand what they were showing in detail. If resources that reach you are scarce, go ahead and look for one yourself. As simple as going to Youtube and looking for “how to use an extinguisher” will help. In case of a fire emergency and you are near fire extinguisher and have enough time and opportunity to use the fire extinguisher without harming yourself or others, you may save a lot of lives and possible damages. (Source: NY Daily News)
- DO THIS NOW: Survival kit. Yes, it is a hassle to put these all together but if a fire occurs, you are going to wish you spent an hour of your life preparing this. To help you out, this is Malayan’s Emergency Go Bag which everyone has to have and someone must check that everyone in the workplace has a complete set:
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable food (ex: biscuits, canned goods)
- Emergency tools: flashlight with extra batteries, whistle, extra cellphone chargers and rubber or plastic gloves
- Personal effects and hygiene kit: toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary napkin (female), alcohol
- First aid kit and medications good for 7 days
- Clothing good for 3 days
- Printed contact information of family, friends and government agencies (including location of evacuation centers are in your area and where your family work or live)
- Copies of personal documents: medication list, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies
- Special Needs: Emergency medication, prescription medication, food for kids, etc.
- REMEMBER: Just leave. Don’t try to collect your things if they’re not within your reach. Don’t mingle, don’t panic, don’t wonder – just leave. Your local government, company and MMDA have done their best to give you the means to stay alive during emergencies and it’s up to you to make sure you do.
With presence of mind, you can beat fire by staying safe. Your company and the building you are in are required to have a kind of business insurance which means you should covered in case of injuries and medical emergencies caused by accidental fire. It’s best to ask your admin or human resources office to know about the details of the insurance coverage. If you would like to understand the coverages better or feel like you need something more, feel free to speak to any of our advisors nationwide by clicking here.
Written by: Kristina Relampagos