Fire officers in Northamptonshire have praised the actions of a fifteen year old boy who saved himself and and his younger brother when a fire started in their house in Northampton. The fire apparently started in the kitchen and spread quickly which cut off the boys’ escape through the front door or back door.
The boy kept calm and called the emergency services. He followed their advice of taking himself and his younger brother upstairs to the bathroom where he should put towels around the door, open the window and wait for the emergency services who were there and had rescued the boys within fifteen minutes. All the time he followed their advice he was reassuring his younger brother of eleven years old.
It’s a good story and it had a happy ending. It highlights various fire safety points for home and for business. As employers, the better trained your employees the more prepared they are likely to be at home as well as at work so the consequences of good fire safety practices can be far reaching. These are all points that a professional fire risk assessment will highlight:
- Every area of your premises should have at least two exits to reduce the chances of escape being cut off by fire.
- Fire extinguishers should be installed strategically for use in case escape routes are cut off by fire and proper training should be regularly provided.
- Fire doors should be installed to protect escape routes from the spread of fire and smoke.
- Calling 999 should always be one of the first things in your emergency plan which all employees should know from regular fire drills.
Not all of this is possible at home but it is all worth consideration. Even if you do not have certified fire doors at home using towels will block the oxygen flow around the door which will slow the fire burning through the door and prevent smoke from passing through to any safe areas. The open window is important as this allows you to call for help and allows the fire service to find you quickly on arrival.
Most important is that at home just like at work is that there is an emergency plan and the entire family knows and understand it so that everyone can act quickly if the worst does happen.