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Updated: January 22, 2013 13:47 IST

Staying calm is key to tackling fire cases better

Raghava M.
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An important aspect during a fire accident is to first come out of the room and rush towards the staircase to get out of the building. If there is a lot of smoke, the person trapped should keep a wet cloth around his/her neck and crawl down towards the staircase.

This is among the precautions that the fire and emergency services personnel advice people.

“It is panic that grips people trapped inside during a fire accident that leads to casualty. They need to stay calm and take steps to come out in a safe way,” said a senior Fire and Emergency Services officer. The officer took the instance of the recent smoke at a two-storeyed building on the K.S. Rao Road.

“Smoke really blinds you and it will be difficult to breathe too. The six persons trapped on the second floor could have crawled by placing a handkerchief on the nose. This would have lessened the anxiety,” the officer said by stressing on the need to have frequent fire safety drills.

Those trapped in a room where the fire has occurred need to come out by locking the room. Space, if any, between the door and the floor, has to be closed by keeping a cloth.

“This will restrict the fire to that room,” said another fire officer.

If smoke was entering the adjoining rooms, the windows of those rooms should be opened. They should reach the staircase and come down using the steps. People should exercise caution not to rush, but come out of the building in a steady way.

The residents of buildings that are above 10.4 metres should ensure that the buildings are compliant with all fire safety norms. One among the norm was to keep 25,000 litres of water in the overhead tank for extinguishing fire. This water should be made available through a separate pipeline running across all the floors.

There should be systems in the building to alert occupants about emergencies like a fire or smoke. “We want the occupants themselves to take up the issue and ensure safety,” the fire officer said.

Although the Fire and Emergency Services were offering fire safety drills and training free of cost, there are not many takers. Last year, there were eight fire drills and 51 lecture sessions.

The Fire and Emergency services personnel are now visiting schools and holding training sessions for children.

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