General Fire Safety
Most fire cases happen accidentally instead of arson. When I make barbecue I just wonder why the fire in the brazier is somewhat difficult to put on while on other places fire can just ignite in by itself and swiftly burns down big concrete building. We must always be alert.

Prevention (cellphone)
Put battery on non-flammable surface and away from flammable material when it is being charged. This is applicable for all types of rechargeable battery including cellphone. With that said, do not answer the phone when it is being charged.

Switch off your cellphone when there is lightning and you are outdoor. Even if you are indoor, do not call or answer call with both of you cellphone or telephone.

Switch off the cellphone when you are at any place with flammable liquid (gas station, car workshop etc).

Prevention (car)
Put a CO2 or halon fire extinguisher in the car. Not only it can take out fire, it also can be used to break the window for emergency escape if the window is jammed. Modern car window tends to jam especially when the car is immersed in water.

Do not park your car on the road that it blocks fire engine. You will regret it if the fire expands to your house because the fire engine cannot reach the fire in time.

Prevention (house)
The floor should be made of non-flammable material.

Aquarium may be useful during fire but make sure during normal time the aquarium is far from the power socket.

Not to have too many unused things in house is good.

Metal furniture is better than wooden furniture from fire point of view.

Ensure the TV is well-ventilated so it is not overheated. Do not put decoration cloth over the TV.

If you do not know to calculate the total ampere, do not use a three-way socket.

Turn off the LPG gas tank outlet nozzle when it is not in use.

Try not to use a hot plate to boil water. Use an electric kettle instead.

Have a fire extinguisher in house, preferably halon or CO2 type. Anyway do not keep fire extinguisher in the kitchen where there is higher potential of fire because when there is big fire in the kitchen and you are outside the kitchen, will you still go back into the kitchen to grab the fire extinguisher?

It is a good practice to keep at least a good smoke mask in house.

Prevention (others)
Do not lid fire if you are not going to use it practically (e.g. for light when there is no other light).

When you are in a building, observe the escape route.

Try not to wear clothes that contain polymer as it will stick to the flesh if it catches fire. Clothes made with 100% cotton is safer and more comfortable.

Do not smoke when you are at any place with flammable liquid (gas station, car workshop etc). You may not know that there have been quite a number of fire cases caused by smoking.

Watch out for static charge when fueling your vehicle especially on dry day. Do not get back into your car while fueling. The friction between your body and the car seat can produce static charge and ignite the fuel as shown in the attached video.

Putting off fire
Do not use water to put off fire caused by:
a) electricity. Electrocution.
b) liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Water will be underneath the gas or the fire may become bigger as shown in the attached video.
c) oil. Oil can float on water surface and the fire can "flow" to other area.
d) chemical.

During fire escape
Be calm. Watch out for panic people that can jeopardize themselves and other people.

Dampen clothing. Also dampen blanket or towel to use during escape. If there is limited water, do not pour it onto your body. Instead take off your clothing and soak it in the water.

If you have a handkerchief, cover your mouth and nose. Dampen it if water is readily available but remember to squeeze excessive water out because water can obstruct breathing.

If there is smoke, lower down your body or crawl under it. Anyway if there are a lot of people do not crawl or else people will be running all over your back.

Feel the door knob first before turning it. If it is hot, do not open the door.

By the way turn off any electrical switch.

Stay away from places that have glass. Hot air can make break the glass and glass pieces can fly all over.

If because of the smoke your throat becomes uncomfortable, do not swallow the saliva because it will wash the toxins down into your stomach.

When your clothing is on fire, the best way to put it off is to roll your body on the ground.
Posted: 2007-04-03 by Ong Seng Aun.
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