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Fires require brisk but calm actions. The necessary actions cannot be listed in a certain order, as the situations vary. However, attempts should always be made to save those in danger, others should be warned about the threatening fire and an alarm should be raised by calling 112. In addition, you should try to perform a first-aid extinguishing with the available extinguishing equipment, in accordance with your abilities. 

Rescuing someone/escaping from a burning building

Make the emergency call as soon as you observe a possible emergency. Do not hesitate to call the public emergency number 112. Explain, clearly and calmly, what has happened. Answer any additional questions the emergency centre’s dispatcher has and do not hang up the phone until you have the permission to do so. Follow the dispatcher’s instructions.

Do not enter a smoke-filled corridor! A fire creates various fire gases. These fire gases are deadly poisonous and breathing in hot gas during a fire will cause a quick loss of consciousness and burns to the pulmonary alveolus.

If necessary, crawl under the smoke and heat. Exit smoke-filled premises immediately, staying as low as possible in order to avoid breathing in fire gases and to find exit routes. If you have to move in smoke-filled premises, stay low, test the hotness of doors by touching them and attempt to proceed in a systematic manner towards the exit route.

Escaping through a balcony. If you cannot exit the apartment through the usual route, close the doors leading to the room on fire. SHOUT FOR HELP. If there is a balcony in the room, go there and close the door behind you. Do not go onto the balcony if the fire is below you.

Escaping through stairs. If the corridor is not full of smoke, you can also escape through there. Remember to close the door to your apartment! Do not use the elevator. When you have exited the building, remain in the meeting area. If you notice that someone has not made it out of the building, inform the rescue authorities. Do not go back into the building, rescue operations are the duty of the fire department!

Taking cover inside and limiting the fire In order to prevent the fire from spreading, it should be attempted to limit the fire. Closing the doors is a simple but efficient way to limit the fire. Each closed door stops the fire from spreading and gives more time to the fire department. If necessary, seal the door cracks with damp towels, for example. Avoid breathing in fire gases. If you cannot exit the building safely, remain indoors and notify the fire department that you are in the apartment (for example by shouting out of the window or by calling 112). The fire department will help you to exit the building.

Warn other people, also those who are not in immediate danger.

Extinguishing. Correctly chosen and efficient first-aid extinguishing equipment are an irreplaceable help during fires. The first-aid extinguishing equipment are not statutory in apartments, but it is recommended to acquire at least a large fire blanket or a portable fire extinguisher. In order to be able to use these equipment when needed, their use should be practised or at least their instructions should be read in advance.

Most common first-aid extinguishing equipment:

  1. Fire blanket
  2. Portable extinguisher
  3. Fire hose reel
  4. Stirrup pump
  5. Fire bucket

Guiding A well-executed guidance helps the urgent professional reach the scene faster during various accidents. Many suburbs or city blocks can be quite unknown areas to the rescue personnel. Similarly, if it is known that the addresses can be somewhat hard to find, the importance of the guidance increases. The guide should be easily visible so that the firefighters arriving to help can easily spot the guide. Waving hands or using a torch in the dark to give signals are excellent ways of improving visibility.