The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has issued a set of tips on how to evacuate safely during emergencies such as gas leaks, fires and other untoward incidents.
In a post on its Facebook page, the MoI also advised people to call 999 in case of a fire or any other emergency, asking them to provide key information such as their exact location, house/flat number, building number, zone and street name/number for quick arrival of emergency services.
Noting that evacuation is considered an important procedure in case of an emergency, the MoI advisory said the situation should be handled calmly and wisely, and people should not panic. “Approach the nearest exit after securing the area, switch off electrical devices and close the gas cylinder if it’s safe to do so,” it noted.
It advised people to co-operate for mass evacuation of the place, making sure that no one is left behind.
“Get down on your knees, go under the smoke to the nearest exit. Smoke will rise to the ceiling, leaving cooler, cleaner air close to the floor,” the advisory said. “Before opening any door, one must ensure the safety of the door handle - it may be hot or blistering. Be prepared to slam the door shut if heat or smoke rushes in, and look for another way out. If safe, open the door to escape. As you escape, close all doors behind you to hold back toxic smoke and flames.”
The MoI also stressed that in case of a fire, one must always use the stairs to get out, never the elevator.
“Get out and stay out. When a fire alarm sounds, don’t stop to get dressed or gather valuables. Never go back inside a burning building. Smoke is toxic and inhalation can kill you,” the MoI said. “If you can’t exit an apartment building due to smoke or fire in the hallway, gather in a room with a window. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use a duct tape or towels to create a seal around the door and over air vents in order to keep smoke from coming in.
If possible, one should open the windows so that fresh air can get in. “Do not break the window unless you have to. Wave a flashlight or light-coloured cloth at the window to let the rescue team know where you are located,” according to the advisory.
It is important to pre-identify the emergency exits in order to use them during an emergency.
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