5 common mistakes when putting out a fire


    If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself caught up in a fire related incident, one of the first challenges you face is working out how to tackle the fire, or whether to tackle it at all.

    Judging the size of the fire

    One of the most important things to remember in the event of a fire emergency is that not all fires can be tackled with a fire extinguisher. If a fire breaks out in your premises, make sure you know what type of fire it is as this determines what extinguisher is needed. If at any point you doubt your ability to control or extinguish the fire, leave the premises immediately and call the fire brigade.

    Incorrect extinguishing techniques

    When using water to tackle a fire, you should always use at least two litres at a time. It is absolutely vital that you do not use water to tackle electrical or oil fires as this can serve to only exacerbate the situation. Water should only be used on fires involving solids such as wood, plastic, or paper.

    Poor evacuation planning

    A common mistake that a lot of people make is not knowing how to efficiently evacuate in the event of a fire. If you are a business owner or building manager, it is important that you have an established evacuation route that all users of the building are aware of. This route must be unobstructed, easy to navigate and end at a safe meeting point.

    Forgetting to shut off power

    In the event of an electrical fire, it is important that you shut off all the power to the source of the fire. If you do this early enough, this action alone can often stop the fire, but it doesn’t it will at least prevent the fire from increasing.  Make sure you know where the power supply is located in your building so you can shut it off if you need to. Of course, if your route there is blocked or affected by fire, evacuate instead.

    Not knowing the correct extinguisher types

    There are several distinct types of fire extinguishers, each one designed to combat distinct kinds of fire. Learn more about the different types in our recent blog, here.

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    The information contained within this blog is provided solely for general informational and educational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions based upon this information, we advise the reader to consult any and all relevant statutory or regulatory guidance and where felt necessary to consult a qualified fire or industry regulation professional. The use or reliance on any information contained herein is solely at the reader’s risk.

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