What to do if there’s a Fire in your Workplace?

A fire in the workplace can lead to serious injuries and disturbs the entire business. The more occupants a workplace has, the greater the risk it holds.

Moreover, if there is not a proper fire safety plan in place, drafted by a fire protection specialist, the risk of loss of life or business assets greatly increases. Fires are comparatively more dangerous when you don’t know how to control the fire, react, and have no proper guidance on escaping the building engulfed in flames. Adequate training and instruction are important for everyone, even if there is little chance of fire outbreaks. 

Workplace fires cost not only lives but also affect businesses and livelihoods. To help you out, we have put together some common steps to follow when there is a fire outbreak in your workplace. 

Important Fire Safety Training Tips for workplace fire outbreaks

  1. Alert your co-workers

When you detect a fire outbreak in your workplace, immediately raise the fire alarm. Even though you think this is a small outbreak and won’t be hazardous, remember that fires can spread rapidly and every second counts. So, raise the alarm and let everyone know it is time to evacuate the building. 

  • Call Fire & Rescue

Next, if you can call the Fire & Rescue Service with the name, address, postcode, and any additional information such as the fire type and location- do that! 

If the alarm fire is small and manageable and the appropriate fire extinguisher or fire hydrant QLD is available, you must try to extinguish the fire or speak to someone trained to do so. Next, ensure an emergency exit door is not blocked to ensure the building gets evacuated as soon as possible. 

  • Evacuate the space immediately 

Start evacuating the building calmly and wisely. Advise your co-workers to leave personal belongings behind, except for readily accessible and essential properties. Start making your way to the designated assembly point.

Any hazardous machinery or equipment should be shut down immediately to ensure smooth fire evacuation procedures. 

Reach the emergency fire exit. Check out if there’s any other door nearby, and ensure the fire is not on the other side of the door. If you are the last person moving out from the door, try to close the door behind you to prevent the fire from spreading through the building’s “fire compartments” and reduce the oxygen level available in any room.

If you realise that the exit route is affected by the flame and smoke, the best you can do is to drop down onto the ground and crawl, as the air closer to the ground is often cleaner. So drop down when you feel smoke is not letting you breathe. 

If possible, try to keep a wet towel or any wet piece of cloth over your mouth to reduce smoke inhalation. When moving along the evacuation route, touch the exit door with the back of your hand before opening it. If you realise it is hot and indicating a fire on the other side, don’t open it and find the other way. 

  • Assemble at a designated spot. 

To ensure everyone gets rescued safely from the workplace, stay together at the designated assembly point. All the personnel should gather at a designated assembly spot after evacuating. It will ease the task of ensuring everyone has made it out safely and summon medical assistance to the needy (if any). 

As soon as it is safe, call the firefighters. If you discover anyone is missing, even if it looks possible to rescue them, don’t go back; instead, inform the firefighters and help them to check on the person with all the information you have about the missing one.

Ensure that the location of the assembly point is easily accessible to everyone and should have safe access to emergency services. 

If you get trapped inside and realise exiting the building will be difficult – try to remain calm, and think through your exit plan.

Below are some key fire safety training tips to memorise in the event you become trapped in a building that is on fire:

  • Try to grab a towel, shirt, or jacket and douse it in water to cover your head or to use as a filter to breathe through.
  • If smoke is present, get as low to the ground as possible while ensuring you can move quickly.
  • Try to find a room with a window.
  • As soon as you find an escape may be possible but may take time, block the gaps under doors with clothing, bedding, towels etc., to prevent smoke from entering.
  • If you’re on the first floor, open a window, lower yourself to arm’s length, and call for help. 
  • Never jump from a window; instead, call out for help. When you are seen, ask the person to get something to pad your landing so that you can safely jump if required. 
  • If you are too high up to escape through the window, try calling Australia’s main emergency service number, triple zero (000), for fire and rescue. 

Fire safety training is essential for all commercial workplaces in Australia. Contact your local fire protection specialist today for comprehensive fire safety training of all the employees working in the office premises.

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