From Fire Outbreaks To Earthquakes: Know How To Protect Yourself When Trapped Inside A Building

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Emergency situations can arise anytime, anywhere! The worst place to get stuck in an emergency situation, like a fire outbreak or earthquake, is inside a building because unlike an open ground, the exit points are limited.

Yes, all buildings are required to have adequate safety codes to protect all the people inside the premises, like fire alarms, warning systems, and security systems, etc. There were over 1 million fires in the US in 2016, and over 12000 earthquakes occur every year around the globe; specifying the significance of foolproof evacuation plans and safety procedures.

During an emergency, the primary concern is panic. It is nearly impossible to control the crowd, which can enhance the damage further.

The safety procedure depends on the type of emergency, i.e., the evacuation procedure of a fire outbreak will be different from the safety procedure of an earthquake or in an active shooter situation. One should recognize the right path to ensure safety in an emergency situation.

Read ahead to learn about ways which will protect you and the people around you in severe emergency situations:

Keep Calm

As already mentioned above, panic is the worst enemy in an emergency. It is advisable to keep calm when you feel that you are in danger because it is difficult to think straight if you panic. Although it is easier said than done, you have to understand how important it is to act in the right way to protect yourself and the ones around you.

You have to assess all the options that are in front of you in case of a fire outbreak, earthquake or hijack situation, etcetera because running to the nearest exit is not always the correct step; sometimes, there are other options too. Think straight to know what you can do to minimize the expected damage.

Familiarize Yourself with the Safety Procedures and Routes

You must familiarize yourself with all the safety procedures and routes of your office building to make sure that in the event of an emergency, you can help yourself and others to exit the building unharmed. Every building has an evacuation plan and directions to take control of an emergency, like fire buttons for fire outbreaks, an evacuation route for earthquakes and other measures for similar situations. If you are visiting a building for the first time and you come across such a situation, you must follow the steps that the incident control officers are telling everyone to ensure safety. Don’t panic and run towards the exits because it might cause unnecessary chaos in the building and increase the damage.

Run Towards the Nearest Exit

The first thought that comes to mind in an emergency is to run towards the nearest exit, right? Even though it is mentioned several times above to avoid it, you must assess the situation and do it. Don’t just run towards the nearest door; take an informed decision to know how to exit the building in the fastest manner and run towards the gate that will ensure it. Sometimes the front entrance isn’t the quickest exit, so it is advisable to know your ground before you start running.

Don’t Be a Hero

Yes, you must protect the children and old people near you if you are stuck in an emergency situation; however, it is not always the correct step. You may slow down the evacuation by coming in between them and the incident control officers. It will help if you protect yourself before you start helping anyone else to make sure that you don’t put anyone else’s life in danger. Although you should act like a hero, i.e., be alert, be quick, be smart and be responsible, you should recognize a foolproof path before you help anyone else.

Don’t Be a Coward

An emergency situation is enough to showcase how noble you or anyone else is. If you are one of the incident control officers or a regular in that building, you must take responsibility of everyone trapped in it with you, i.e., help them exit the building unharmed. Not everyone will be familiar with the evacuation procedures, so you should keep your calm and guide them towards safety to minimize severe outcomes. Don’t be a coward, who runs away from his ethical duties!

It is not a Joke

No matter how brilliant your sense of humor is, you must never consider an emergency as a joke because it can put someone’s life in danger and you will be solely responsible for it. Don’t joke about fire outbreaks or any other emergency situation because it can cause panic, which can have adverse consequences. Similarly, in an emergency, you must not joke about anything at the assembly area, not even to calm down other because it may reduce the severity of the situation in their minds; making them careless towards the safety procedure. Keeping calm is essential, but being too laid back will have severe consequences.

Some Quick Tips On How To Protect Yourself When Trapped Inside A Building:

Fire Outbreaks

  1. Press the fire button
  2. Grab a fire extinguisher (near you), and try to minimize the intensity of the fire
  3. Run towards the nearest exit
  4. Close the doors behind you (if no one is behind you) to reduce the damage
  5. Call the authorities once you are outside the building

Earthquakes

  1. Press the warning system to alert everyone else
  2. Run towards the nearest exit
  3. If it is not possible to exit the building, take cover under a hard table to protect yourself from falling debris
  4. Call the authorities immediately if possible

Active Shooter

  1. Press the warning system to alert everyone else and call the security guards
  2. Run towards the nearest exit
  3. Hide, if you are unable to exit the building
  4. Fight if you have no other choice

Some safety steps are common in most emergencies because the approach is same, i.e., put yourself as far away from the situation as possible and make sure you don’t put anyone else’s life in danger.

Now that you are aware of the right safety steps don’t be afraid of an emergency. If you come across any, follow the correct procedure to ensure utmost safety and minimize the expected damage.

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