Common steps for fire safety in residential house and commercial complex

A natural or human-caused origin of fire incidents may be devastating especially in populated urban or sub-urban areas. Every occupants of residential houses and commercial complexes should be well aware of the common causes of home fire along with all safety and emergency rescue measures in initial stage of fire to save life and property.

Fire in residential house

Common causes of fire breaks up in residential house

The common sources and causes of fire are:-
1. Kitchen fires
During cooking kitchen appliances should never be left unattended. Otherwise it may cause fire breaks accidentally. It is essential to wear cotton cloth and apron tightly while cooking to avoid fire accidents. Kitchen appliances should always be kept clean and away from flammable oil, gases and grease which may be the source of fire break out from kitchen room.

Home heating appliances
Home appliances like electric room heaters and ironing equipment are one of the sources of fire hazards in residential houses when left unattended. Moreover all such heating appliances should be switched off after use to avoid any accidental fire hazard.

Candle fires
Unattended lighted candle may cause fire accident in residential houses. Lighted candle should always be kept away from any flammable substances otherwise may cause any accidental fire hazard. With loss of life and property.

Careless smoking habits
Smoking cigarette sitting on home articles like sofa or bed may some time become the source of fire incident in residential house.

Old, damaged and sub-standard electrical House wiring and accessories
Old, damaged and sub-standard electrical wires and accessories in the residential houses may cause electrical fire hazards. All such electrical accessories should be checked by authorized electrician at regular intervals at least once in 3 years for proper insulation as per standard electricity rules. As electrical fires from old, damaged and sub-standard house wiring have become a major cause of fire in houses and commercial buildings.

What to do when fire breaks out in home

In the general cases of fire other than electrical fire, if it is not extensive at initial stage best way to stop the full blown fire from further spreading towards nearest flammable materials.
But, if the type of fire is beyond immediate control and not worth fighting then, all occupants of the building must be evacuated immediately for personal safety. Then immediately inform fire brigade about the fire incident giving details.

There are different types of fire in houses or commercial buildings such as:

1. Electrical fires.
2. Gas fires.
3. Liquid fires:
4. Organic fires.

Electrical fires

In the cases of electrical fire in residential houses the following steps are to be taken in initial stage:

1. Take immediate step to switch off main power by turning off the main switch in the house and this the first and immediate step to stop extending electrical short circuit fire at the initial stage.

2. By turning off the main switch the entire electrical wirings along with the short circuit area in the house will be isolated from electrical power to stop further extension of electrical short circuit fire at the initial stage.

3. Using a portable multipurpose home fire extinguisher is the best and safest way to extinguish electrical short circuit fire confined in small area in the house.

Gas fires
Gas fires from cooking gas cylinders may turn comparatively more dangerous source of fire hazards which require immediate call to the fire brigade for fire fighting and extinguishing fire caused by oil and gases.

Liquid fires
Liquid like gasoline, petrol or spirit may cause fire breaks out in houses and multiplexes. The following dos and don'ts must be observed to tackle liquid fires:

1. Using safety blanket to cover the liquid fire confined in a small area is one of the best way to extinguish liquid fires in initial stage.

2. Multipurpose home fire extinguisher may be used to extinguish liquid fire at initial stage only.

3. In case uncontrolled and extensive liquid fires fire brigade must be called immediately for such liquid fire fighting.

Never throw water over the liquid fire as the liquid fire will get more oxygen from sprinkle water causing more flare up of liquid fires.

Organic fires
Organic fires like wood, papers and other waste materials are the most common sources of home fires. Organic fires should be extinguished immediately to avoid further spread in the h0uses or buildings.
The following common steps can be taken immediately to extinguish fires from organic substance fire n a house or buildings:

Step 1. The best and effective use of bulk quantity of water at a time to extinguish organic fires.

Step 2. Thick safety blanket can also be effectively uses to completely cover the small confined organic fires area . This process will block outside oxygen contact with the fire and resist organic fires to flare up.

Step 3. Using multipurpose home fire extinguisher can be the equipment to fight immediately with fires from organic substances.

B. Fires in residential apartment and commercial buildings.

Fires in any residential or commercial complex may result massive damage of property and human lives. and require stringent fire safety rules. to prevent likelihood of any fire breaks out resulting damage of properties and occupants in the building.

# Role of the apartment owners association and property manager or owner of commercial complex to prevent fire hazards:
In case of fire breaks out in residential and commercial complexes the occupants in the building should be able to escape safely without any mishap of life and damage of property. The role of the apartment owner and property manager should play an important in all sorts fire safety and preventive norms and conditions in such multiplexes.
The following emergency measures and steps are to planned ahead to prevent damage of life and properties in the building:
• Emergency evacuation plans: In case sudden fire breaks out emergency evacuation of occupants and properties through emergency exits in the building is top most important.
• Mock drills at regular intervals: Regular mock-drills will make the occupants of commercial complex aware of all emergency steps to react quickly during any fire alarm. Such mock-drills at regular intervals are essential to create awareness in the procedures to evacuate the building in case of emergency.
• Keep Oxygen cylinders and Masks in safe and visible place: I multistoried apartment keep oxygen cylinders and masks on the top floor as an emergency requirement for any person having respiratory problem for smoke inhale during fire hazards in the building floors.
• Medical first aid kits: On every floor of the multistoried building a well equipped medical kit filled with current emergency medicines, cotton, bandage and creams for burns to meet any emergency first aid in case of any fires in the building complex.
• Emergency light: All the floors including stairs in the multistoried building shoud be provided with emergency battery operated lights for the facility of emergency escape and rescue in case of any fire alarm.
• Updating fire fighting equipments kept in each floor of the building: Checking of all fire fighting equipments at regular interval should ensure for good working conditions during emergency fire fighting operations.

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Author: shanti21 Jul 2010 Member Level: Silver   Points : 2

One most important thing is alerting every one in the building. So to do that all the residents of the apartment should have a separate common ringing bell so that this bell sends an alarm only in case of any accident(any type of accident). One person rings this bell,then the alarms in all other flats should ring to alert and know that something is going wrong.

This will be very helpful.

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