Elements of Fire
There are three elements of fire:
- Fuel (furniture, plastics, grease, etc.)
- Heat (matches, cigarettes, sparks, electric, etc.)
Fire needs all three elements. If you remove one, you can eliminate or reduce the fire. For example:
- Closing doors – reduces the amount of oxygen
- Dousing with water – reduces heat
- Using an ABC Type Fire Extinguisher – smothers the fire, reducing oxygen
- Removing nearby draperies, papers, furniture – removes the source of fuel
Fire Tips and Facts
- In an emergency, use stairwells. Do not use elevators, unless instructed otherwise.
- Feel the stairwell door with the back of your hand for heat, before opening the door.
- If you encounter smoke, get down on your hands and knees. The air is cleaner and cooler nearer the floor. Crawl to the nearest stairwell exit.
- Most fatalities are a result of smoke inhalation, poisonous gases and panic. Panic, a sudden overpowering terror, is usually the result of not knowing what to do.
- Smoke detectors serve as an early-warning system. Smoke detectors save lives.
- A sprinkler system is designed to suppress a fire. Sprinkler heads are activated one at a time by a rise in the temperature.
Planning and Preparedness
- Have a list of emergency phone numbers.
- Be familiar with your floor’s layout.
- Know primary and secondary exits routes and termination points both up and down.
- Know location, type and how to use manual fire alarms and fire extinguishers.
- Know primary and secondary methods of communication.
- Know safe refuge areas (re-location floors) during a fire emergency:
- If relocating within the building – usually a minimum of four (4) floors below the fire floor is adequate.
- When evacuating the building – move away from the building, and out of the way of emergency vehicles, flying glass and other obstacles. Usually a distance that is greater than the height of the building and proceed to your pre-determined outside assembly area.
Safe Stairwell Procedures
- Remain quiet and calm. Do Not Talk and Do Not Text!
- Remove high-heel shoes. Keep a pair of old sneakers next to your work station.
- Use handrails & move quickly. Walk in a single file.
- Keep to the right so Emergency personnel can ascend the stairs on the left.
- Allow others to enter into stairwell flow, but do not unnecessarily hold up traffic.
- Assist those who are slower or physically impaired.
- Walk down the stairs (unless otherwise instructed).
- All injuries should be treated at stairwell landings when required and safe to do so.
- Do not spread false information, rumors, etc.
- Do not bring drinks or food into stairwell.
- Develop awareness of safety conditions, fire violations and potential hazards, for example: fire doors improperly blocked or open, improper lighting, frayed cords, overloaded outlets, obstructed halls and corridors, trash buildups, etc.
- Participate in fire drills and review emergency procedures.
- Know your area of responsibility and your emergency actions.