When you're at home, you may rest easy knowing your smoke detectors are working fine and you have an emergency plan all set in case the unthinkable happens--but are you prepared for the dangers of a fire when you're away from home? Fire safety might be the last thing on your mind when you're focused on a big project at work or planning your next fun-filled family vacation, but it never hurts to be prepared. Understand how to stay safe in the case of a fire both at home and while you're away with the following tips.
Your workplace should have rules and regulations already established for how to deal with a crisis like an office fire, but how well rehearsed are you with these procedures? You should be familiar with safety practices such as:
- Knowing the locations of the proper exits in case of a fire, in addition to the locations of fire extinguishers throughout the office
- Knowing where to meet up after exiting the building so that all employees can be accounted for
- Understanding the proper protocol for alerting management to possible fire hazards around the office
A fire can be started by something as simple as an employee negligently leaving a cheese pita in the office toaster-oven for too long, so always be vigilant and stay updated on the latest practices when it comes to fire safety at your workplace.
If you attend a local university or trade college, you should likewise be aware of the fire safety standards at these locations. If your school has particularly high student enrollment, try to take classes during the least busy times of the day, if possible, so that you can avoid getting stuck in a crowded classroom or narrow hallway in the event of a fire.
When you check into a hotel or motel while traveling, take a little time to familiarize yourself with fire exits and fire extinguisher locations before settling in. Make sure you stay in a room with a working smoke detector and fire sprinkler system. The leading cause of hotel fires is cooking, so if you stay in a room with a kitchen, be very attentive to the stove if you plan to prepare meals there.
Fire safety is perhaps more important in the great outdoors than anywhere else due to the largely unsupervised nature of the traditional campfire. Most campgrounds will have very specific rules for where and how to make use of fires and will step in if they notice these rules being broken, but the greatest responsibility lies with you, the camper. Use only designated fire pits, never burn your trash in a campfire or leave a fire unattended, and above all, always be absolutely certain that the fire is completely put out before going to sleep or leaving the campground.
If you're traveling for business or pleasure in a foreign country, do your best to familiarize yourself with that country's general fire safety practices. This can be especially difficult if you don't know the native language, so prepare ahead of time by researching these practices before your arrival with the help of someone who does know the language (or at least with the help of an internet translator if necessary).
It's fairly easy to make sure your home is prepared for a fire while you're actually there, but to keep your mind at ease while you're away, it may be a good idea to invest in a fire alarm monitoring service. If one of the smoke detectors in your home is activated while nobody's there to hear it, a signal will be sent to the monitoring service, who can then respond by alerting local emergency services to the problem.
The key to fire safety is preparation; the more prepared you are for a fire, the more calm and confident you will be about what to do if a fire actually does occur.