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Fire In Your Area - Specific Instructions

  1. What To Do In the Event of Fire in Your Area - Specific Instructions

    1. In the event of small fires:

      1. Don't panic - keep calm.

      2. Make sure everyone not essential to assisting you evacuates the building. Assist the handicapped! (see Evacuation of the Handicapped).

      3. Notify the fire department or campus police by:

        1. Activating fire alarm pull station, or

        2. Calling campus police at 6911 or 568-6911 if not near to or cut off from pull station, or...

        3. Contact the Harrisonburg Fire Department directly by dialing 434-9991 or 9-911 and following the subsequent instructions.

      4. Attempt to determine as accurately as possible the source of the alarm. When calling, give brief, detailed, and accurate information. Speak slowly and plainly. Give address, extent, and nature of fire. Wait if possible to answer any questions. If the fire is still small and manageable - fight it.

      5. Keep near door so you can escape.

      6. Stay low - out of heat and smoke.

      7. If in laboratory, kitchen, shop, boiler, or mechanical room, turn off all gas, oxygen, or air jet valves; turn off valves on all oxygen and combustible gas (i.e. acetylene) tanks; shut down all electrical equipment, power tools, or appliances.

      8. Aim appropriate extinguishing agent at base of fire (refer to the section on proper use of extinguishers).

        1. Floor fires- sweep from edge in.

        2. Wall fires- sweep from bottom up.

      9. Avoid being trapped, stay outside closets, dead end hallways, or other confined areas.

      10. Ventilate only after the fire is out.

    2. If the fire is large and or unmanageable:

      1. Evacuate other personnel not essential to assisting you. See to it that the handicapped are assisted!

      2. Send alarm by phone, call box, or alarm pull station.

      3. Close all doors and windows if possible.

      4. Do NOT turn off lights. If at night, turn on lights as you depart the building.

      5. Turn off all gas, air, oxygen, and electrical if possible.


      7. Stay in the area to direct firemen and alert them to extraordinary hazardous conditions (i.e. chemical storage, storage of flammable liquids, etc.).

  2. Types of Fire each fire is different in nature.

    1. Cooking Fires (fat, grease, oil) Smother small fires.

      1. Turn off stove, and cover pan (or close oven) or,

      2. Use CO2 or Dry Chemical extinguisher. Never use water, it scatters the flame and may set fire to nearby combustibles.

    2. Clothing fires

      1. Don't run - RUIG FANS THE FLAMES.

      2. But do act quickly - SMOTHER he fire.

        1. Lie down, then...

        2. Roll up in rug, coat, or blanket (with head outside),

        3. Gently beat out flames and smoldering clothing, and

        4. Treat for burns and shock.

    3. Electrical Fires, to extinguish-

      1. Unplug appliance, if possible

      2. Use CO2 or Dry Chemical extinguisher. Never use water on live wires, you may get an electrical shock.

    4. Outside fires (leaves, grass, brush) Fight flying sparks by wetting down nearby combustibles, buildings, etc., closing windows and doors of nearby buildings, removing nearby piles of rubbish, locating owners of cars to have them removed (vehicles should be towed if owners cannot be located). Rake, dig, or wet down a four foot "fire break." Attack fire by teamwork.

      1. Knock down flames with broom, shovel, or water.

      2. Have someone follow up to put out residual sparks.

    5. Vehicle Fires

      1. To attack an engine fire:

        1. Shut off engine and disconnect battery, if possible.

        2. Use CO2 or Dry Chemical extinguisher. Beware of spilled gasoline. Get other vehicles away from the area.

        3. Before attempting to fight fire, make sure Public Safety or fire department is notified.

  3. Escape Plans

    1. Plan Ahead

      1. If unfamiliar with building, look for fire escape and alternate route(s) upon entering.

      2. If familiar with building,

        1. Know your closest emergency exit.

        2. Be aware of alternative exits in the event smoke or fire blocks closest exit.

        3. Learn the "refuge" areas in the building, i.e. enclosed stairways (fire towers).

        4. Be familiar with alarm locations and method of activation.

        5. Be familiar with location of extinguishers, and read instructions on use ahead of time.

        6. Keep aisles, exits, and exit signs clear of obstructions so that you can exit quickly. Do not wedge open a fire door. If you do, this will speed up spread of smoke.

    2. If you are in a burning building...

      1. Avoid panic rush

      2. Evacuate immediately, unless you are competent in use of extinguishers and are part of an organized building fire brigade.

      3. Smoke and or heated air can kill. Crawl if you get caught; cleaner air is near the floor.

      4. Take short breaths, and, if possible, cover face with wet cloth.

      5. Before passing through door, test it. Check metal door knob.

        1. If the door is warm or knob is hot, use an alternative route.

        2. If not warm, brace you shoulder against the door and open it cautiously. Be ready to slam it if smoke or heat rush in.

        3. After passing through door or window, CLOSE IT; openings allow horizontal spread of fire.

      6. If trapped in a room, if possible open windows from the top to let out heat and smoke, open the windows from the bottom to let in fresh air.

        1. If you cannot exit though the window, stuff cracks and cover vents to keep out smoke.

        2. If there is a phone in the room, phone Public Safety and give your exact location, even if they are at the scene.

        3. Signal from a window such as a sheet, pillowcase or shirt to attract attention.

        4. If in high rise building and paint (i.e. art supplies) is available, write the floor number and room backwards on the inside of an outer facing window.

      7. If you are able to exit, go to the nearest stairs, but, do not use an elevator, you may become trapped if the power fails.

      8. If nearest exit is blocked by fire, use alternative exit.

      9. After evacuating building, stand well clear of it. Never re-enter a burning building except to save a life.

      10. Allow the fire fighting equipment to maneuver around the building as is necessary.

  4. To Rescue

    1. Assist the Handicapped from the building (see Evacuation of the Handicapped).

    2. For an unconscious person-tie hands, slip over the neck and drag.

    3. On stairs-hold under arms, slowly back down stairs.

  5. First Aid at Fire Scenes

    1. Burns

      1. Slight- small, on surface, reddening of skin. Apply cold running water or ice to relieve pain.

      2. Serious-large or deep, blistering or charring. Call for medical aid (physician or trained EMT), remove clothes, cut around sticking cloth. Don't attempt to clean wound. Cover loosely with clean, dry dressing. Treat for shock. Never use iodine, cotton, grease, or oil on burns.

    2. Inhalation of Smoke or Fumes- dizzy or un conscious, violent coughing, irregular breathing, ringing ears, seeing spots.

      1. Get to fresh, warm air.

      2. Lay person down.

      3. If victim is not breathing, give artificial respiration.

      4. Give oxygen if available

      5. Call for medical aid (physician or EMT), treat for shock.

    3. Shock- severe upset to nervous system-symptoms are a pale, cold sweat, clammy skin, irregular breathing, listlessness.

      1. Lay person down - raise hips, legs - loosen clothes.

      2. Keep warm - maintain body temperature - wrap blankets under as well as over person - but don't overheat.

      3. Call for medical aid.

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