Fire  
   
This guide lists simple things you and your family can do to stay safe and protect your property from fires.

Before Fire occurs.

  • All your family members should know the safe route to nearest shelter/ or exit gates of the  house.
  • if your area is fire-prone, consider alternative building materials. Keep water-taps, tanks as nearer to the house with fire extinguishers in the house. You may consider making houses where the walls are made of local hollow bricks with windows corresponding to the size of the room.
Have an emergency kit on hand which includes a:
  • TIPS REGARDING FIRE ACCIDENTS

    A) High-Rise Fires
    Calmly leave the apartment, closing the door behind you. Remember the keys!
    Pull the fire alarm near the closest exit, if available, or raise an alarm by warning others.
    Leave the building by the stairs.
    Never take the elevator during fire! 
    If the exit is blocked by smoke or fire:
  • Leave the door closed but do not lock it.
  • To keep the smoke out, put a wet towel in the space at the bottom of the door.
  • Call the emergency fire service number and tell them your apartment number and let them know you are trapped by smoke and fire. It is important that you listen and do what they tell you.
  • Stay calm and wait for someone to rescue you.

    If there is a fire alarm in your building which goes off
  • Before you open the door, feel the door by using the back of our hand. If the door is hot or warm, do not open the door.
  • If the door is cool, open it just a little to check the hallway. If you see smoke in the hallway, do not leave.
  • If there is no smoke in the hallway, leave and close the door. Go directly to the stairs to leave. Never use the elevator.

    If smoke is in your apartment:
  • Stay low to the floor under the smoke.
  • Call the Fire Emergency Number which should be pasted near your telephone along with police and other emergency services and let them know that you are trapped by smoke.
  • If you have a balcony and there is no fire below it, go out.
  • If there is fire below, go out to the window. DO NOT OPEN THE WINDOW but stay near the window.
  • If there is no fire below, go to the window and open it. Stay near the open window.
  • Hang a bed sheet, towel or blanket out of the window to let people know that you are there and need help.
  • Be calm and wait for someone to rescue you.

    B) Kitchen Fires
    It is important to know what kind of stove or cooking oven you have in your home - gas, electric, kerosene or where firewood is used. The stove is the No. 1 cause of fire hazards in your kitchen and can cause fires, which may destroy the entire house, especially in rural areas where there are thatched roof or other inflammable materials like straw kept near the kitchen. For electric and gas stoves ensure that the switch or the gas valve is switched off/turned off immediately after the cooking is over. An electric burner remains hot and until it cools off, it can be very dangerous. The oven using wood can be dangerous because burning embers remain. When lighting the fire on a wooden fuel oven, keep a cover on the top while lighting the oven so that sparks do not fly to the thatched roof. After the cooking is over, ensure that the remaining fire is extinguished off by sprinkling water if no adult remains in the kitchen after the cooking. Do not keep any inflammable article like kerosene near the kitchen fire.

    Important Do's in the Kitchen
  • Do have an adult always present when cooking is going on the kitchen. Children should not be allowed alone.
  • Do keep hair tied back and do not wear synthetic clothes when you are cooking.
  • Do make sure that the curtains on the window near the stove are tied back and will not blow on to the flame or burner.
  • Do check to make sure that the gas burner is turned off immediately if the fire is not ignited and also switched off immediately after cooking.
  • Do turn panhandles to the centre of the stove and put them out of touch of the children in the house.
  • Do ensure that the floor is always dry so that you do not slip and fall on the fire.
  • Do keep matches out of the reach of children.

    Important Don'ts
  • Don't put towels, or dishrags near a stove burner.
  • Don't wear loose fitting clothes when you cook, and don't reach across the top of the stove when you are cooking.
  • Don't put things in the cabinets or shelves above the stove. Young children may try to reach them and accidentally start the burners, start a fire, catch on fire.
  • Don't store spray cans or cans carrying inflammable items near the stove.
  • Don't let small children near an open oven door. They can be burnt by the heat or by falling onto the door or into the oven.
  • Don't lean against the stove to keep warm.
  • Don't use towels as potholders. They may catch on fire.
  • Don't overload an electrical outlet with several appliances or extension cords. The cords or plugs may overheat and cause a fire.
  • Don't use water to put out a grease fire. ONLY use baking soda, salt, or a tight lid. Always keep a box of baking soda near the stove.
  • Don't use radios or other small appliances (mixers, blenders) near the sink.

    COMMON TIPS
  • Do keep the phone number of the Fire Service near the telephone and ensure that everyone in the family knows the number.
  • Do keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Do sleep with your bedroom closed to prevent the spread of fire.
  • Do you know that you should never run if your clothes are on fire and that you should - "STOP - DROP-ROLL."