About RTÉ Television
The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Fire Safety- Escape Routes

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Today Adrian Sutton from Dublin Fire Brigade will be coming on the show to talk about the importance of this and to also speak about the items that you should have in your home to prevent and protect against fires i.e. Fire extinguishers, fire blankets etc.

We continue with our Smoke Alarm Giveaway. Since we began the giveaway we have given away 10,000 smoke alarms. We are delighted to continue this year with a further 2,500 this week. We will have 500 smoke alarms to give away to day. The lo-call numbers are:

Callers from the Republic of Ireland: 1890 929 899

Callers from Northern Ireland: 0845 521 4280

It's Fire Safety week from 5th until the 9th October, It is a nationwide campaign run in cooperation with Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Services we want to raise awareness about the dangers of fires. Today we have Adrian Sutton from the Dublin Fire Brigade, and with a bit of help from the McMahon family who sadly lost their home to a fire a few years ago, we'll be discussing how to react if there is a fire in your home.

Adrian Sutton from Dublin Fire Brigade

Plan Your Escape Drill and Perfect it:
Often, when a fire breaks out, confusion and errors follow. If you have a well-practiced fire evacuation drill you will be better able to deal with an emergency situation. A rehearsed fire escape drill can make all the difference: -
. The family members should plan two escape routes to get out if the house.
. Decide on one meeting point outside the house.
. Practice the plan until perfect.
. Close all doors behind you as you leave.
. The stairs are the primary escape route - keep them clear.
. Do not re-enter the house for any reason.
. Phone the fire brigade from a nearby outside phone.

Some Do's and Do Not's
. Plan for a safe refuge in case you cannot escape from the house. This is a room where all of the family can gather to wait to be rescued. Take the following precautions:
. Make sure there is a phone in the room to call for help
. Try to have a room with a window so you can either escape or call out for help (stay by the window)
. Close the door and seal the bottom with towels or blankets to stop harmful smoke entering
. Call the emergency services.
. Dial 999 or 112
. Tell the operator what service you require.
. Speak calmly and clearly giving the address of the fire and your phone number. (If using a mobile phone the operator may ask what county you are in)
. Only hang up when the operator tells you to
Do Not
. Re-enter a burning house for personal items
. Borrow batteries from the Smoke Alarm
. Have mirrors over fireplaces with real fires

Have an "Evacuation Plan" for you and your family in the event of a fire.
Make sure to:

. Plan an evacuation drill with all of your family
. When practicing your evacuation drill have an alternative exit in case your primary exit is blocked by fire
. Have a meeting point in a safe place outside of the house
. Practice your evacuation drill regularly
. Ensure all escape routes are kept clear day and night
Keep keys to doors and windows immediately available

Adrian's Advice:
. You should practice your fire drill every 4 to 6 weeks
. Get your older children involved
. Everyone in the house should be involved, be it a babysitter, people who spend a lot of time in the house.
. Have a meeting point; the Master Bedroom is generally a good place.
. Keep your stairs clear at all times.
. Close the doors behind you as you leave
. Remind your children not to hide under beds or in wardrobes as that is not safe.
. Ring the fire brigade from your neighbor's house or mobile once you are out of the house.

Fire Blankets
Keep a fire blanket in the kitchen. It gives you a way of responding effectively if flames suddenly ignite above a saucepan or chip pan. It can be used on fires involving both solids and liquids. Particularly good for small fires in clothing and for chip and fat pan fires provided the blanket completely covers the fire. A fire blanket or damp cloth can be used on a fat pan fire.
. Fire Blanket - Good for kitchen - to smother fire or for someone when clothes catch fire.
. Place carefully over the fire. Keep your hands shielded from the fire. Do not waft the fire towards you.

Fire Extinguishers
It's a good idea to have a fire extinguisher, kept mounted on the wall in an easily accessible position. If a small fire starts and you have time to deal with it without putting yourself at risk, an extinguisher will enable you to put it out quickly and effectively.
There is no point In having the different extinguishers for the different types of fires. In an emergency you will not remember which one to use.
ABC Extinguisher: This can be used on every type of fire and therefore this is the one to buy. Dry chemical extinguishers put out fire by coating the fuel with a thin layer of dust, separating the fuel from the oxygen in the air. The powder also works to interrupt the chemical reaction of fire, so these extinguishers are extremely effective at putting out fire.
. Home Fire Extinguisher - Keep it in the kitchen but don't put it beside cooker as if the cooker catches fire - you won't be able to get to the extinguisher.
. Pull the Safety Pin
. Aim the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the flames.
. Squeeze the trigger while holding the extinguisher upright.
Sweep the extinguisher from side to side, covering the area of the fire with extinguishing agent.

Statistics from The Press Office for the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government for 2007 state:

. "The Fire Brigade attended 56,188 incidents (excluding ambulance calls) of these, 34,669 were fires.
. In the last 10 years 438 people have been killed as the result of a fire
. There were 41 fatalities in 2007. 14F/27M. 66% Male, 34% Female. 50% of the fatalities were aged 65 or over
. 44% of these fatalities were in homes with NO smoke alarms
. 8 of the 41 fatalities were in homes where smoke alarms were present but not working."

The lo-call numbers for the smoke alarm give away are:

Callers from the Republic of Ireland: 1890 929 899

Callers from Northern Ireland: 0845 521 4280

Lines will be open today from 5.15 p.m. until 6pm