The average response time for the fire service is 14 minutes. Therefore, you are on your own and must function as your own fire fighter for the first several minutes.
"Rescue, alarm, extinguish " is a simple rule to help you remember what to do in the event of a fire. You will have to determine the order in which you address these points, depending on your assessment of the situation.
1. RESCUE: Make sure to alert everyone in the building. Help each other make your way to the meeting place agreed in advance. Check that everyone has made it out.
2. ALARM: Notify the fire service on emergency number 110. Give the exact address. You should also teach children how to do this. Do not hang up until you are told to do so. The fire service is already on its way, while you are speaking.
3. EXTINGUISH: If the fire is not too large, try to put it out. Do not expose yourself or others to significant danger. Remember that smoke is very toxic.
Meet and brief the fire service about the situation when they arrive. Immediately let them know if there are people who have not yet evacuated from the house or building. Do not re-enter the house to rescue pets or personal belongings. Leave that to the fire service.
Smoke from fires is very toxic
If a fire occurs, remember that the smoke is very toxic. The most common cause of death when buildings burn is smoke poisoning. Avoid moving across significant distances in smoke-filled rooms. If it is absolutely necessary, stay low, e.g. by crawling along the floor. If it is dark, stay close to the wall so you always know where you are.
In some cases – if you know that the fire service is on its way – it may make the most sense to stay in the room or on a balcony until the fire service arrives. If this is the case, give clear signals to indicate where you are so that help can reach you quickly.