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Things to Know in an Emergency
This is easier said than done because all of us tend to panic in a situation that we are not comfortable in. If you are able to remain calm your thoughts and actions become more logical and orderly which should ultimately save a lot of time and save you from becoming even more flustered or confused.
The Brigade / Floor Fire Wardens to Respond
In a fire situation ensure that the SA Metropolitan Fire Service or SA Country Fire Service has been called. If need be ask someone to place an emergency call to the Fire Service to ensure that they are responding, particularly if you can smell smoke or you know that there is a fire, no matter how small.
Suitably trained Fire Wardens and assistants or Floor Fire Wardens should respond to assist people to safely leave the building, to assess the situation for safe access and be available to answer all questions as required by the Fire Brigade. Please note: Fire Warden Training should be ongoing and at least one evacuation exercise performed on an annual basis. This is an absolute minimum and depending upon the number of staff, personnel turn-over, company growth etc more frequent evacuation exercises are encouraged – more training/less panic.
Evacuate the Building
An Evacuation Assembly Point or points should be established. Evacuation Plans should be posted throughout the building and all personnel should be familiar with these. This should form part of your Site Induction.
In a fire or site evacuation situation the most important consideration is life safety. Property can be replaced, lives cannot.
Where possible ensure that any persons requiring assistance to vacate the building (eg disabled, injured, the young, the elderly or visitors to your building). All able bodied persons should vacate their work place immediately in an orderly manner and make their way to the closest safe exit and then meet at the Evacuation Assembly Point. In case of a fire avoid lifts and wherever possible use fire rated evacuation stair wells.
There should be some means on site of identifying who is on site so individuals can be accounted for at the Evacuation Assembly Point.
Do not attempt to re-enter the building. If you are anxious for someone’s safety, the Chief Fire Warden should liaise with the brigade and inform them of these concerns.
Only ever attempt to fight a fire if suitably trained, the fire is small enough and you have the correct type of fire extinguisher. Only ever fight a fire provided that you have a clear means of escape. Wherever possible never allow yourself to be placed between a fire and a means of escape.
Never fight a fire from a downwind position.
Never attempt to fight a large fire and particularly one where dark acrid smoke is being given off.
Stand well clear of all smoke formation and leave the fire fighting to the professionals.
Never extinguish a fire on a gas cylinder safety vent. If a fire on a gas cylinder safety vent is extinguished and the gas continues to vent this will result in an explosive environment.
If you have any concerns regarding the evacuation procedures or fire fighting equipment available at your work site please contact us.