Burns – Part 1 “Fire Safety”
Burns are injuries to the body’s tissues caused by either chemicals, electricity, heat or radiation. As burns can come from so many different sources we will break them down into sections to help you see the vastness of information, but also brings to light how “easy” burns are once you get the science of energy and how the damage to your body from Thermal Energy “Hot or Cold” is relatively similar in how we treat it. A little slogan to remember about Thermal Energy is “Hot is fast but Cold is Slow“, this little saying will help you see that if a burn from “heat” can happen fast, then we can treat it fast, but just like it takes a while for an ice cube to form “slow” that means that your body will likewise take damage from cold “Slowly“. “This does not include Dry Ice, Please refer to Chemical Burns” One more question we get during this portion is “What is the most common cause of death during a burn?” The answer is always “Infection“, we will bring more light on why in the next posts associated with Burns.
Common Causes of fire in the home:
- – Insecure combustible materials ie: gasoline, hair spray, oil
- – Unattended Cooking, or cooking oils secured inappropriately
- – Smoking in the home without securing “Butts” or Smoking in bed.
- – Faulty Heating Equipment or electrical devices
- – Fire Pits not secured or inspected properly
- – Furnace & Fire Place chimney’s or flue not cleaned properly
“Always follow safety guidelines, many Fire preventing methods have been put together by Occupational Health and Safety and your local Fire Departments for your own personal protection.“
- – Store Chemicals / fuels / oils and compressed cylinders appropriately as stated in the MSDS or manufacturers specs.
- – Never Keep cooking oils “Above” the stove, if there is a fire on the stove this may act as an accelerant.
- – Have fire pits inspected and licensed by your local licensing inspector to ensure your homes safety.
- – Never keep your BBQ or other heat sources against a wall / siding or or other flammable materials.
- – Have a plan, know your exits and help your family understand the benefits of an “Emergency Response Plan” play / practice them with children to keep everyone safe.
- – Making sure you have working smoke detectors in the hallways near any sleeping areas, at the top of stairs, and in every bedroom. in some provinces and territories, legislation dictates where smoke detectors must be located.
- – Never leave a fire pit / place unattended “Embers can reignite“
- -Ensure that Fire extinguishers are kept up to date
Fire Safety Tips
Fires are caused by numerous things found commonly in the home: Heating equipment, appliances, electrical wiring and cooking. Having a Fire Safety Plan or even an ERP “Emergency Response Plan” is always a good idea for any family.
Plan & Practice a fire escape route with your family by:
- – Sketch a floor plan of your home that shows all the rooms, doors, windows, and hallways.
- – Draw arrows that show how to escape from each room. If possible, show two ways to get out of each room. Planning to escape sleeping areas is most important because most fires happen at night.
- – Plan where everyone will meet after leaving the building.
- -Assign someone to call the fire department after leaving the burning building.
- – When you travel, take a moment to find out the local emergency number and keep it on hand.
- – If you stay in a hotel, learn escape routes and emergency procedures in case of a fire.
How to Escape from a Fire:
1) Check the area, if there is smoke, get low and crawl to get out of the building quickly, “Never return to a burning building” Make sure children are able to open windows, go down a ladder, or lower themselves to the ground. “Play / Practice with them”
- – If you are unable to get out, “stay in the room“. Stuff towels, rags, or clothing around doors and vents. If you have access to water, wet the materials first.
2) Call 911 “Even if rescuers are already outside, tell the 911 dispatcher exactly where you are.
3) Care for yourself and family by staying calm, get low “Avoid Smoke“, get out by crawling. Follow your emergency response plan as best as you are able. Protect yourself “Never return to a burning building as you may be overcome by smoke, heat, or explosion.”
- Always follow recommendations by your Emergency Response professionals and 911 Dispatch personnel.
If you are on fire “STOP, DROP & ROLL”
Fire Pit Regulations:
- For General Purpose – Fire pits should be a minimum of 10 too 15 feet from any other potentially combustible material. A maximum of 2 feet tall, 3 feet wide, with the addition of an ash catch screen when possible. Water should be easily accessible within 20 feet and never use an ignition source such as gasoline to light a fire. For more information consult your local municipality on regulations, inspections and licensing for your own personal fire pit.
We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.
“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!