Fires are flames that have gone out of a human being’s control. Fire starts when the temperature of a material’s ignition turns out to be lower than the temperature of the heat source. Among the most common causes of fire, the following can be noted: carelessness of people, defects of electric or heating appliances, self-ignition, lightning, a large number of electric appliances connected to one socket, etc.
IF a FIRE has OCCURRED
It is necessary to react quickly, using all available means for extinguishing a fire (sand, water, covers, clothes, fire extinguishers, etc.). Any fire that cannot be fully stopped in the shortest period of time requires the work of firefighters. It is necessary to call the firefighting service immediately, and not when it is already too late. The call should provide clear information about the location of fire, its cause and possible threat to people. You should tell your name and telephone number for receiving further clarifications.
It should be remembered, that children scared by fire can be hiding in secret places, for example, under the bed, and almost never respond to unfamiliar voices.
It is dangerous to stay in a smoke-filled room due to the presence of gas and toxic vapors: only several gulps of smoke are needed for a person to lose consciousness.
Fast evacuation is needed in order to avoid the harmful impact of gas. If it is not possible to put out the flames, it is necessary to remove all compressed gases, cars, possible archives, all easily flammable materials and valuables after rescuing people. While waiting for the fire fighters, the person who has not lost his/her bearings should coordinate the transfer of all injured people, guard by any means all passages to the flames to prevent them from spreading by watering or covering the most dangerous spots in terms of ignition with a wet linen. He/she should keep the situation under control in order to prevent panic.
During a fire, it is necessary to constantly use water for extinguishment, close the doors and windows, since air flow feeds the fire, turn off the gas and power supply.
Working machinery and mechanisms in work facilities should be stopped and easily inflammable materials should be cooled with water.
When opening burning rooms, you should be as attentive as possible, since a new flow of oxygen can strengthen the flame. For these purposes, it is better to use a stick to be able to act from a distance and, if possible, from cover. If smoke is billowing, you should walk bent and covering your face and, if necessary, covering your head with a wet cloth and abundantly wetting your clothes with water.
It is necessary to remember the following rules:
– If it is possible to put out the flame, it is better to move against the flame, trying to prevent it from spreading and “pushing” the fire towards the exit or to a place where no flammable materials are present;
always insure yourself with a rope when you need to move along the hallways, on the roof, go down into the basements and other dangerous places, since it is very hard to find the way back in thick smoke;
– Flames are most effectively extinguished from the height of the fire’s level;
– If a person’s clothes catch fire, prevent him/her from running, push him/her down to the ground, wrap him/her into a blanket and pour an abundant amount of water on him/her. Do not attempt to take the clothes off her/him under any circumstances, if the clothes have already burned up, cover the burned areas of the body with sterilized cotton;
– Put out the fire using a hydrant or water, taking possible destruction of objects and bearing walls of a building into account. It is not the amount of used water that is important, but its correct usage;
– after extinguishing the source of fire, it is necessary to check for the presence of any other possible sources that may cross out all previous efforts. Checks should be carried out several times during the day and special attention should be paid to the cellars, attics and other rarely visited places.
During a fire, there is often a hazard for people’s lives: possible explosions, poor visibility due to smoke, work at heights, lack of knowledge of the surroundings, electrical equipment that has gone out of order – all this requires maximal attention.
The first step is to establish how and in what order the evacuation of people and property should be implemented, and determine the place for the collection of items. Of course, the main goal is to save human lives and everything else should be based on this concept.
All public and industrial premises must be equipped with emergency exits that are clearly marked, not too long, and that ensure fast, easy passing.
Doors should always open from the inside. In these passages there should be no objects, steps, swinging doors, as well as flammable materials, the walls must be made of fire-resistant materials. In addition, other escape paths must be provided: external staircases, exits to the roof, balconies and windows. Ladders should be without a single latch and ready for use at any time, even when only elevators are used. Unfortunately, these rules are often not followed: exits are locked to stop intruders. The “it can happen to anyone, but not me” philosophy can lead to bigger problems. Also, do not forget that an elevator is not considered an escape means; you should not use them in the event of a fire.
Every person should know how to quickly leave the building in case of fire. For these purposes, it is necessary to conduct general special trainings in all organizations, institutions and enterprises.
While extinguishing the fire and rescuing people it is necessary to remember that adults are more often able to attract attention, make their presence known. If they are caught off guard by fire or smoke, and lose consciousness from this, then you need to look for them, mainly, next to the stairs, the windows or other possible exits. Sick people, who are not able to move, may be in bed, on chairs or next to them. Great difficulties occur when looking for children during fires. They usually hide in places that do not come to the adults’ minds, so their discovery and rescue often come late.
For fires in high structures one should take into account that the automatic ladders of fire trucks extend to a height of 50 m at most. Therefore, those who are situated below this altitude can look out and call for help from the windows, and those above should quickly climb to the roof, where they will be seen by helicopters.
After the rescue of all persons, the first task is to calm them, then transfer them to a safe place, using the shortest of all possible routes.
During a fire, as in other disasters, you may experience a panic attack. It occurs most often in areas of random gatherings of people: cinemas, theaters, restaurants, hotels, etc. At work and in educational institutions, where people know each other and the facilities, panic attacks happen rarely, but it is always a possibility, which can neither be excluded nor anticipated.
fire fighting equipment
These include: internal fire hydrants from an internal water main, fire extinguishers, fire covers, sand and other materials at hand.
The most traditional means for extinguishing fires is the internal hydrant, which is installed inside all public buildings, except for warehouses, where there are materials that react with water (gasoline, diesel fuel). It should be easy to reach and always be ready for use. The principle of operation is to supply large volumes of water for fighting fires when usual materials are burning (wood, straw, paper, cloth). It cannot be used in case of fire of electrical equipment under voltage, flammable liquids (gasoline, acetone, alcohols) and for pouring over substances which, when reacted with water, emit toxic or flammable gases (sodium, potassium, calcium carbide).
Fire extinguishers come in different types, but all of them are used to extinguish fires from their very beginning. For best results, it is necessary to do the following in advance:
– select the type of fire extinguisher that is best suited for potentially flammable materials and conditions of its use;
– find a place for a fire extinguisher where it could always be within reach;
– the number of fire extinguishers should correspond to the potential scope of the fire and the area that needs to be kept under control.
OTHER FIRE-FIGHTING MEANS
It is a good idea to use any non-synthetic covers, which put out the fire by blocking air access to the burning object, while extinguishing fire. If possible, one should cover the entire burning area without causing air movement, which could sustain the fire. Fire in the house often arises in the kitchen, where it can be put out by using a cover. It is also suitable for eliminating the ignition of automobile engines and various electrical appliances.
Sand is also used for extinguishing fire. It is suitable for small fires, but not suitable for extinguishing flammable liquids, because it immediately sinks to the bottom and the liquid continues to burn. If motor vehicles catch fire, and there are no other means of fire extinguishment, you can use sand or earth.
There are other methods. Even a simple whisk broom wrapped in a moist cloth can be a means of extinguishment. You must bring down the flames with it to prevent the fire and its sparks from spreading. Despite its simplicity, this method is quite effective. Similarly, you can use green branches, wet rags wrapped around a stick. The speed of your reaction is directly related to the effectiveness of fire suppression, it is necessary to use any means in your possession, sacrificing even a coat or a jacket to avoid more serious losses.
There are other tools that may be useful beside the above listed fire-fighting equipment. These include axes, shovels, ladders, buckets or any easily transportable containers, barrels with water, iron fences.
Forest and mountain fires
Forest and mountain ecosystems are very important for the life of the biosphere: they enrich the atmosphere with oxygen and maintain the level of carbon dioxide in it.
Forests play a major role in the water cycle: the surface of forest soils with a cover absorbs rain precipitation and snow water, replenishing groundwater supplies. Forest soils filter water flowing from the fields and industrial sites, and purifies it from many harmful contaminants. Forest ecosystems evaporate moisture into the atmosphere and have a beneficial effect on the climate, increasing air humidity.
Forests play a recreational role – they are a place for rest and relaxation for urban and rural population. Forest enriched with oxygen and healing emissions of plants (phytocides) is a source of health.
However, forest fires destroy hundreds of hectares of forest and cause great damage to the ecology – death of trees, animals and birds; in mountain forests fires trigger erosion of slope soils. Fires may be caused by lightning, however, today their role is quite insignificant and most fires start due to our careless handling of fire. Self-ignition can also happen in the forest, if a bottle lying on the ground turns into a lens under the sun and concentrates sun rays to the point of spontaneous ignition of the grass underneath it.
Forest and mountain fires are a national disaster! Protect the forests and mountains from fire! The forest and mountains are national wealth!
What to do during forest and mountain fires
Upon discovering fire in the forest: the main task is to prevent the heat from gaining strength and spreading.
In those cases, when you see that you will not be able to put out the fire on your own, it is necessary to promptly report fire to the fire department by calling “101”.
Beating the edges of a fire is the most common way of extinguishing fires in a forest. Green branches are used for beating fires.
Throwing soilthat cools burning materials and blocks air’s access to them on the edges of a fire is also effective.
Follow simple rules for fire safety!
1. It is prohibited to light fires in dry, hot and windy weather.
3.It is necessary to keep a supplyofwater as well as greenbranchesnearthefire for the purposes of suppressing it if needed.
4. It is prohibited to light fires near trees.