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Top Fire Fighting Tips For Home And Business

Aug 17, 2007
Fire prevention can help to reduce the likelihood of a fire occurring, but not eliminate the chance of fire altogether so knowing how to fight a fire safely is essential to stop it getting out of control.

But, and an important but, it is also imperative you know when to fight a fire, as some fires are beyond your control and the best course of action for your safety and others is to evacuate the area as quickly as possible.

To make sure that you have the best chance of escaping a fire and possibly stopping it from getting out of control, here are some top fire fighting tips for home and work.

First Things First

Whether you are going to tackle the fire or not, call the Fire Service as it is easy to forget once you jump into action.

In the UK, the phone numbers 999, 911 (USA) and 112 (Europe) are all programmed to send you to the emergency services.

Fight Or Don't Fight?

If a fire has broken out, you need to decide fairly quickly if you are capable of fighting it or not. If the fire is small and looks to be contained then you can tackle it, providing you have the right fire extinguisher to hand. However, if the fire looks to be spreading get out of the room as quickly as possible, as a fire like this can double in size in just a few minutes.

Never, ever tackle a fire unless you believe you can put it out without risk to yourself, and should the fire spread you can still easily escape from the area unharmed.

Although you might want to try and be a hero, your life and those around you is more important than protecting your possessions from damage.

If You Do Fight The Fire

If you do decide to fight the fire, make sure you do so quickly to avoid the fire growing. Make sure you already know how to use the fire extinguisher, as there will not be time to work out how to use it whilst the fire rages. And make sure you have the right type of extinguisher for the fire, as using the wrong type could make things much worse.

Keep your exit free and at your back so you can escape easily, and if possible have someone nearby to call for help if things get out of hand. This will allow you to deal with the fire safely and effectively, as well as helping you to avoid injury.

Some Fires Should Not Be Fought

Whilst you might want to save your possessions, you need to realise that some fires are beyond your ability to control.

If the fire is spreading quickly or you do not know what is burning, then you need to evacuate immediately. Failing to do so could make things worse and could put your life or the lives of others in danger whilst you try to tackle a fire beyond your control.

Never risk your life to put out a fire, but rather concentrate on getting yourself out of the building to safety.

Different Fire Fighting Tools

Although fire extinguishers are the main fire fighting tool, there are other items that you can use to help you stop a fire. Fire blankets can be useful for small contained fires, as long as you can get close enough to apply the blanket. The blanket will stop oxygen from reaching the fire and put it out quickly.

A hose reel will be a big help but you need to be able to run it all the way to the fire without getting in the way of exits and people and without getting stuck.

You also need to know if it is automatic - it will turn the water flow on without a tap but you still need to twist the nozzle - or manual - you will need to turn the tap by the reel and twist the nozzle.
However, fire extinguishers are still the most effective method of putting out a fire, as long as the right extinguisher is used for the particular fire. A water-based extinguisher can also be used to damp down "hot spots" to ensure a fire will not re-ignite.

Fighting fires can be done safely and can prevent damage to property and possessions. However, the most important fire fighting tip is to only fight the fire if you are in a position where you can still escape.
If there is any doubt, any at all, get out of the premises immediately and stay out. Leave the hero stuff to the professional fire fighters.
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