In Nigeria, electrical sparks, candle light or generator sets are known to be the primary cause of home fire. There are three main things that are known to start a fire: a heat source, oxygen and a fuel source. Once the initial ignition occurs, the fire will spread quickly and continuously if conditions are favorable. It is estimated that a human has as little as 240 seconds to escape as fire raises the interior temperature of the house to over 1200-degrees Fahrenheit , with the room temperature getting so hot the next minute that everything is literally set ablaze.
Fire can wipe our life time earnings within minutes as experts suggests that 45% of the time people die in fire. Many of us do not plan for it to happen but it still happens anyway. Adequately planning can lessen the possibility of tragedy by 70 percent.
How do you prevent fire incidents from happening or escape it if it still happens?
- Ensure your house is equipped with fire alarms, extinguishers and sprinklers: most of the houses designed in our country have everything done properly but nothing that creates awareness in case of a fire incident or attacks fire when it happens. The money spent in installing fire sprinklers and extinguishers in a new house is worth everything as the outcome of a fire can only leave one in pain and regret. Keep a fire extinguisher at home and ensure you are well trained to use it if a fire starts. Install fire and carbon monoxide alarms in every bed room, kitchen and basement.
- Consciously make plans to prevent fire incident from occurring: Lighting a candle and carelessly placing it on the rug or near paper sources should be avoided. Generator sets should not be refueled while it is still under operation. All power sources must be switched off when leaving home every day or when not in use.
- When a fire starts beyond control, get low:fire experts suggest that when fire incident occurs beyond control, you will find life at the lowest point of the room. This is because all the toxic content during a fire rises to the top of the room while the clean air is left beneath. Immediately the fire alarm sounds, get off your bed, lay low and start crawling to the exit point. This will save your life and ensure you have enough oxygen to breath during your escape.
- Reach the closest fire escape route: houses must be built with emergency escape points. These doors are designed to open easily when you are in danger of fire or any other emergency that requires you to leave the house quickly. When you get to any of the exit point, while lying low to have enough oxygen for sustenance, feel the door to know if it is hot on the outside. If not, open the door quickly and leave the building. If hot, seek another escape route. A good building should have at least two escape route.
- When the fire gets to you: always try to avoid getting to any part of the house where the fire will catch your clothes. But if your cloth is caught up in this sad drama, always stop, lie flat and roll. This is the best way to put off the fire. Running around with fire on you will give it combustion power. Don’t fight fire when you are trapped inside always go out, then seek emergency.
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