Secure yourself: What you need to know about fire safety at home and at work

Author : Tetiana Sviatenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

Our safety, including the fire protection, is essentially our business
14:15, 18 April 2018

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The fire that killed 64 people, including 40 children, occurred in the shopping and entertainment center "Winter Cherry" in Kemerovo on March 25. Literally the next day, Ukrainian authorities announced the beginning of large-scale fire safety checks in the SEC and places of mass stay of people in Ukraine. April 11, rescuers made public the first results of inspections: over 15 thousand violations were identified in the verified 1 thousand 319 shopping centers, hospitals, and schools.

Related: Kemerovo tragedy: Russia's worst fire in recent years

Nine out of 357 malls are checked in Kyiv, according to the rescuers, we can say that violations have already been detected in Magellan and Dream Town, which create a danger for people.

The fact that the rescuers are so concerned about our safety and work to prevent tragedies certainly pleases us. But it is worth remembering that our security, including the fire, is primarily our business.

Today, a fire alarm is already provided in new residential buildings. Moreover, in the new buildings, there should be an automatic fire-extinguishing system and they should be provided with internal fire-fighting water supply and primary means of extinguishing. But to what extent these norms are observed, the State Emergency Service cannot be sure. "Unfortunately, due to the fact that we no longer participate in the commissions that take the buildings into operation, we cannot say whether there are such systems or not," press service of the State Emergency Service said.

“Housing offices are responsible for the fire safety, for the operating condition of the doors in the stairwells, and the passability of the staircases. The doors in the stairwells must be fireproof, open in the direction of the evacuation routes and have a certain limit of refractoriness. But often the doors are closed by the tenants themselves. Every citizen has the right to apply to the State Emergency Service and on the basis of this appeal our representatives check the facts of violation,” State Emergency Service stated.

Related: Fire occurred at Prydniprovsk thermal power plant in Dnipro

The employees of the State Emergency Service in the event of trouble are sure in their capacities. In Kyiv, there are 2 thousand 853 high-rise buildings, of which four are 30-storey and five have more than 30 floors. Rescuers say that there is enough equipment for extinguishing fires on the upper floors of the skyscrapers. Fire-fighting crew has 18 fire engines with stairs that can work with buildings above 4 floors. Of these, one is designed to extinguish fires in buildings above 16 floors.

At the same time, firefighters are recognized that this is not enough. But they hope for the best, they say, within the framework of the reform, the technique for extinguishing fires on the upper floors of high-rise buildings should be acquired in the near future.

Related: Shopping mall caught on fire in Moscow: one died, six victims

However, the lack of more fire ladders is not the biggest problem of the firefighters. Much more problems for the elimination of fires in residential buildings are created by the tenants themselves. It is all about the chaotic parking of cars in the yards and at the entrances to houses.

"We are systematically confronted with the problem of easy access. Firefighters must travel in the shortest possible way, but this is often difficult because of parked cars, especially a problem for rescuing people, a fire truck cannot drive up to the house because of parking," the rescuers say.

"The fire extinguisher should be at a distance of about 20 meters from a potential ignition source: fuse box, printer, etc. The fire extinguisher has a shelf life of 10 years, but it needs to be recharged every year. For offices carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are the best, they can extinguish wiring, office equipment, but powdered fire extinguishers or water would not help you here," says the expert on labor protection.

Related: More than 700 people died in fires in Ukraine since the beginning of the year

Also, every employee should be instructed on fire safety, which should be repeated every year. And in enterprises and in offices where 25 or more people work, voluntary fire brigades are created in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Fire Safety". At sites of increased danger, regardless of the number of employees, such brigades should be formed.

"Such fire brigades are trained in the training center, they know how to evacuate people, how to provide medical assistance, how to use fire extinguishers. They know all these procedures during the emergency."

Related: Don't get burned: Key fire safety tips

How to call firefighters correctly? In case the fire still occurred in a residential building, apartment or office, it is better to call rescuers, not hoping for someone else. You need to provide the exact address, the number of floors in the building in which the fire occurred, on which floor the fire occurred, on which wing and if possible meet the firefighters downstairs.

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