How to behave during a fire

Fire behaviour - Fire fighting training courses 

Fire is one of the most dangerous phenomena. It is very important that we know how to behave when we are threatened by fire.The rules of behaviour in the event of a fire vary depending on the place and the cause of the fire. There are different ways to behave if a fire breaks out in a flat, and different ways to behave if, for example, a Christmas tree is lit.  

fire in a flat

Fire in a dwelling - how to behave?  

A fire in a dwelling can break out in almost any room - in the kitchen, living room, basement or attic. In addition, short-circuits in electrical installations or other installations insulated with material that is flammable can contribute to this.  

In such a situation, what you should do is to immediately warn those who may be threatened by the fire, call the fire brigade (number 998 or 112) and get to a safe place away from the fire as soon as possible.  

When reporting an emergency, it is worth remembering to be reasonably calm and speak clearly so that the person receiving our report has no problem understanding the information we want to convey.  

What should we say when reporting a fire outbreak?  

  • Your name, the telephone number from which the incident is being communicated;  
  • The address and name of the building where the fire occurred;  
  • What is on fire and on which floor;  
  • Is there a risk to human health and life?  

Once you have given all the information, do not hang up immediately. You need to wait until your call is acknowledged.  

If a fire takes place in your flat, remember to take children and elderly people out of the room, turn off the gas and electricity supply and do not open the windows. When leaving the flat, close the door only on the handle, so that firefighters can easily get inside.  

Different rules apply if it is not our flat that is on fire, but the flat next door or on the lower floors, so that the stairwell and corridors are smoky.  

Then you should:  

  • Stay in the house, locking the front door only on the handle;  
  • Turn off the gas valve, switch off all electrical appliances;  
  • Secure doorways and leaks (e.g. with a wet towel) so that smoke does not enter the dwelling;  
  • Prepare a supply of water for extinguishing and cooling the various components;  
  • If necessary, call for help through a window or balcony.  
heating system fire

In the event of a fire in a flat on an upper floor, we should remain in the flat and leave at the call of the person in charge of the firefighting operation. In this situation, the front door should be locked.  

These are tips and advice that can help us save our health and lives during a fire, but once the fire brigade arrives, we must obey the instructions that the rescue manager will give. 

How do you deal with heating equipment and installations?  

The heating season is also the season when the number of fires is higher than during the rest of the year. These fires cause massive property damage, but they are also a very serious threat to health and life, so it is important to check carefully whether they are fit for use before you start using them.  

Note whether: 

  • The flue is not obstructed;  
  • There is no damage to the chimney, either externally or internally; 
  • No timber framing members or other combustible parts of the building structure were introduced into the chimney;  
  • The distance of the combustible building structure from the inner face of the smoke ducts is not less than 30 centimetres;  
  • Smoke pipes are not routed unprotected through combustible ceilings, walls or roofs;  
  • The fireplaces to the flues are properly connected;  
  • Combustible materials are stored further than 0.5 metres from leakage and control doors.  

Contrary to appearances, fires in electrical installations are largely due to carelessness in handling or the presence of flammable materials right next to the installation. There are certain rules that, if followed, will certainly reduce the risk of fire. These are:  

  • Maintain a distance of at least 0.5 metres between luminaires and combustible materials;  
  • Set up electric heaters on non-combustible bases or plates;  
  • Do not leave portable heaters, cookers, irons and all such appliances unattended when plugged in;  
  • Persons without the relevant authorisation must not themselves alter or repair electrical equipment and installations;  
  • No lighting fixtures and fittings such as switches, circuit breakers and uninsulated plug sockets may be installed. 

What should we do if our Christmas tree catches fire during the holidays? 

During Christmas nerves and preparations, a burning Christmas tree is the last thing we want to see. This is why the place where it will stand is so important. A safe place is certainly one away from heat sources such as cookers, heaters or fireplaces. A Christmas tree should also not stand too close to curtains and drapes. Remember that it doesn't matter whether the tree is real or plastic, because both will quickly catch fire.  

During a Christmas tree fire, the first thing to do is to unplug the electric lights and start extinguishing the fire with water or a fire extinguisher; if this does not help and the fire continues to threaten, then call the fire brigade.  

How to learn more about fire safety and behaviour?  

Christmas tree fire

The Internet is overflowing with information on the subject, and in addition to the situations mentioned above, there are many others during which knowledge of safety regulations will be useful to us. Looking for information on our own will be fruitful, but we will certainly benefit more from specialised courses where we can learn about how to carry out an evacuation and learn about emergency procedures, and much more.  

The course will provide us with greater safety, awareness and knowledge. We will be able to help ourselves and anyone else who needs it. Besides, after such a training course, the participant will receive a certificate of completion.