Every year, many residential homes and businesses across New Zealand are affected by fires.
During 2017 to 2018, the Fire and Emergency NZ responded to 82,568 incidents of emergencies ranging from structure fire, vegetation fire and other types of fire (chemical, electrical and automotive). They have taken risk reduction campaigns to promote fire safety throughout local communities. Fires always result into disastrous consequences and still one of the best measures to counter fire is to always prepare for such an event.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to install adequate fire safety systems within your premises. These include fire extinguishers, fire blankets, smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinkler systems which to stay compliant, must also be inspected monthly, to ensure they are in good condition. To get everyone onboard, companies should also provide employee fire safety training, this is to make sure everyone in the workplace knows how to use all the fire-fighting equipment available at their disposal. Employee fire safety training also includes an organised fire escape plan which leads to safe assembly point outside the premises.
Find an escape route quick!
The entry point that got you into the premises is not the only way out! And don’t attempt to trace the route you entered all the way back, especially if you are located deep inside the building. When a fire breaks out, the closest exit door is your best bet though you may not be familiar with this exit point entirely. This is where you must trust fire safety signs to lead you to safety.
Avoid the crowds
Finding safety in numbers may not always be the best case. When an emergency happens, huge crowds tend to bottle neck at most exit points, and some doorways can be severely blocked, and through sheer panic, this situation may escalate into a stampede, causing injury to people. Your best chance at survival is not to take a risk at that exit, but to find another way out, finding a visible fire exit sign. Look out for luminous signs that give you alternative emergency exit routes: a staircase sign, assembly point sign right and the likes.
Look for Staircase signs
In case of a fire, avoid the elevator at all cost. Go for the stairs, as the bottom of a stairwell often leads toward an outer door. Check the stairway sign to find out which direction and floor the emergency exit is.
Use Fire Extinguishers if you can
You can stop a small starting fire with a fire extinguisher often found near an exit point, stairway, and hallway wall. Check for the fire safety symbols indicating what kind of fire extinguisher it is, and check quickly if there are specific instructions. But the basic operation of a fire extinguisher is often to pull the pin, aim the nozzle and spray from a safe distance.
The first thing you should note when you are out in public or an unfamiliar place is to keep a lookout for these fire safety signs. This should be second nature to you as a means of awareness to your personal safety. Remember in a fire emergency every second counts.
If your businesses fire signs are in need of some TLC, then give the Fireco team a call, they can sort out all your fire compliance signs. Whether that is fire exit, fire extinguisher, directional signs, break glass or anything in between Fireco stock it all. Don’t wait till it’s too late.