Emergency situations can lead to major financial as well as physical losses. One should always be prepared for such uncalled situations.
According to the data collected by the U.S. Fire Administration (USAF) through different sources to inform and analyze the status of the fire emergency situation in the US, the following is the statistical representation of the report:
Looks like a big loss! These can only be covered and dealt with proactive measures and precautions. The safety of people you love can only be ensured by taking preventive measures. Let us talk about what course of action can help you in facing an undesirable situation like a fire.
Financial records for natural disasters##
Financial issues hit really hard at such undesirable events because usually, we were unprepared for the situation. Because it happens suddenly, and we don't know how to cover up post-disaster property damages. It is better to always have a portion of your income saved for such events.
Keep your important financial records at a safe place (preferably with an electronic backup every 6 months) to get your hands on it as soon as possible during the recovery process. Keep track of your insurance policies. If you live in a rented apartment, know the contract details for the disaster repair. The renter is usually responsible for their belongings within the unit - your landlord's insurance will likely not cover your belongings. As you spend money to repair the house and bring it back to a livable condition, use the digital expense tracker offered by HomeKasa to help you track your expenses. If you didn't consider it earlier, it is better to start saving today.
Make sure the building or house you are in has an emergency plan. The emergency plan should include:
- Sudden measures to be taken by trained emergency staff
- Immediate Fire Brigade contact service
- Fire resistance equipment
- Clearly marked emergency exit
- Evacuation process
- Offices should conduct regular fire drills to train people
Also, the plan or sudden measures in the situation of fire should be posted at prominent places of any public building workplace. Areas with a higher risk of fire should be signed as 'danger points 🚨'.
The evacuation process requires a lot of responsibility from the staff of the department if it's a building. Be prepared to leave when the alarm or siren rings continuously. Staff needs to report the missing persons or the ones stuck inside, as they need to be rescued by the fire Marshals as soon as possible.
The fire safety manager will direct the fire safety panel to identify the area of alert. The Fire Marshal will then continue the evacuation process of the affected place while rescuing the people in danger and extinguishing the fire.
In residences, get out of the house and get to open areas. In communities, such areas may be well marked.
Update the batteries on smoke detectors regularly to ensure that they detect and sound alarm of potential fire damage.
When you discover fire, raise the alarm by shouting 'Fire' loudly to alert everyone in the immediate vicinity. Run to push the glass fire alarm present in a red box close to major exits. If you got your hands on an AA fire extinguisher nearby, try to tackle the fire with that but make sure the exit is clear. Many local laws require that the house have a fire extinguisher. In case of a controllable fire that has just started, use the extinguisher to extinguish the fire if possible and only if it is safe to do so.
In case of extensive fire, it is best to leave the place as soon as possible by the nearest exit.
Who to contact?##
Try to contact the department's safety officer as soon as possible. If you have got time, call a nearby fire brigade or the rescue team. Your property management should be digitally accessible 24/7.
If you see any kind of harmful fire that can spread, 911 is the one authentic number to call for help - be it in your office, house, or any neighborhood in the US.
What to pack in emergency warning?##
In case of a wildfire or other such situations, it may be possible to predict which way the fire is moving and give advance evacuation warnings for some neighborhoods. In an emergency evacuation, the fire managers give people warnings to pack their important stuff. These warnings could be of different time limits according to the situation and the distance from the fire. So, pack important stuff according to your time. The following packing options might help you:
15 minute Warning##
- Cell phone, wallet (money)
- Charger keys, cards
- Pets, carriers
- Clothes, shoes
- Expensive jewelry
- First aid kit
Above mentioned things, plus:
- Sleeping bags, blankets
- Food, water
- Property papers
You can store electronic copies of your property papers on HomeKasa for free and access them from anywhere, anytime.
Above mentioned things, plus:
- Licenses, vehicle papers
- Insurance documents. You can store electronic copies of your home insurance documents for free on HomeKasa and access them from anywhere, anytime.
- Medical data
- School items, books
- Photo albums
- Hygiene products
Try to pack all of the above-mentioned things plus all the important stuff, including electronics and easy to transport furniture. Try to pack as much as you can but keep in mind the stuff should be feasible to carry along or find a secure place to keep the stuff safe. If you have camping gear, they could come in handy until you find temporary housing.
Preparing your house##
When you have advance notice, leave a ladder outside the house so that the fire department can easily climb the roof. Move the furniture towards the center of the room so that there's some cushion time to reduce the chances of spreading the fire. Remove the window treatments. Leave the doors unlocked so that fire personnel can enter easily. Remove dry leaves and dead plants from near the house - these things can catch fire easily. Spray the deck with water to reduce the chances of catching fire from embers. Turn off the gas supply to the house and leave the water supply on. While it is important to take precautions to prevent your house from catching fire, these steps also ensure that you are doing your part to reduce the chances of fire spreading to your neighbors. Once you are done packing your things and are waiting for the actual evacuation order, please consider helping your neighbors, particularly the children, the aged, and the physically challenged. Stay away from buildings with fire.
What are the health impacts of a fire?##
Burning and suffocating are the major health emergencies that can happen at the location. Moreover, passing out through shock and fear is also a common condition seen at such places. Coughing through smoke can be faced by people at little distance. Smoke makes things worse for everyone, and for asthmatics in particular. Also, post-traumatic effects can occur to people with weak hearts or sensitive mental conditions.
We hope all the above information helped you in knowing how to prepare for such emergency events.
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