Information Report of State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Odessa Region
Hello everyone, I am an Officer at State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Odessa Region, Prymorsky District Department, Senior Lieutenant at State Civil Defense, Sabina Anastasiya.
Today we will be talking about Fire Safety at educational institutions in particular.
So, what is ‘Fire’?! ‘Fire’ is an uncontrollable combustion that is harmful for human health and our environment.
The main cause of 50% of fires is human factor. People are careless about their own health and about the wellbeing of people around. Most often, categories at risk of fire and death are retired people or disadvantaged groups of society that can be under the influence of alcohol or any types of drugs.
Let’s talk about Evacuation. The most important thing about residential, high-rise buildings and educational institutions is the Evacuation Plan which is the integral thing for us to follow, and also use of fire-extinguishers. First of all, if you see fire or smell the smoke, you should notify the Emergency Service. The Emergency Service Hotline is 101 or 112. Your actions should be exact: you call 101, introduce yourself (tell your position, i.e. and educator or staff), tell the location of fire and the exact address. The fire brigade immediately sets out upon the call and further information is collected straight after. This means that by the time the fire brigade has arrived to the site, the firefighters know the exact location of the fire, the starting time, the premises, if people are trapped there (if yes, the immediate evacuation takes place first). If the event takes place at the educational institution, the Security Officer comes out first and reports to the Head of the Institution. The Head of the Institution is responsible for guiding out the educators who are responsible for guiding out the students. The report should feature the quantity of students present at lectures, the reason of combustion and the number or name of the premise where the fire took place.
If there is a possibility to use primary extinguishing means, use extinguishers in particular that are to be located at every floor (it is better if they are in auditoriums). Let’s dwell on this specifically.
There are several types of extinguishers: powder, CO2, water and gas. Powder and CO2 are used the most.
Here we have a 5kg powder extinguisher. It has a discharge lever, a pressure gauge (always should be green). As we can see, it shows green now meaning it is charged and ready for use. It also has discharge locking pin and seal. If fire starts, we take off the extinguisher (that is supposed to be hanging at 1.5 m up the floor or standing at the special support) and use it. With any type of extinguishers, people would usually take it and approach the ignition source. This is wrong! You have to squat, aim the hose at the source and extinguish at a low pace. If you just aim the extinguisher at the middle, the powder scatter and exposed parts of your body might get burnt.
CO2 portable type. It has the same parts and also features a horn. While using a CO2 extinguisher, you must NEVER touch the horn because, while in use, the gas discharges at the temperature of -70°C. This means that hands or exposed body part of a near standing person might get a severe freezeburn. CO2 extinguisher is used up to 1000 kW and it’s better to use it for Computer auditoriums, for electric devices. Why not use powder type in this case? Powder leaves white stains, so CO2 is cleaner. However, powder type is better for home use due to its affordability as one of the factors. It also should be noted that powder types bare health hazard. When you spray it, you inhale the substances that settle in your breathing organs and can be the cause of serious health problems.
As we’re at the University right now, let’s talk about Fire Preventing measures here. There should be Fire Alarm at every educational institution. What is its purpose? If there’s combustion at the premises, the Fire Alarm starts off at once. We might not notice the first signs, we might not be at the premises, as fire often starts from short circuits of electric power supplies as the wiring can be damaged. Sometimes we use uncertified electric appliances at our houses and at educational institutions that might be hazardous to our health and pose additional costs.
Fire Alarm includes the Alerting System. When Fire Alarm starts off it triggers the Alerting System automatically. In case of fire, in warns people at the premises to follow the Evacuation Protocol immediately. The main principle of Evacuation is to avoid panic as it is the second most feared challenge.
What is the reason of most of fires? We don’t know how to use primary extinguishing means that don’t limit to extinguishers. They also include stands with fire-fighting equipment that must include extinguishers, shovels, cone buckets, sand that can help us in case of combustion.
The fire brigade doesn’t provide fire extinguishing services exclusively. We also react to calls about unknown devices that you may have found. If you find a suspicious looking package or strange devices (we all know how grenades look or you can get alerted by the device’s resemblance to specific equipment), you should call the Emergency Service Hotline: 101 or 112. Now is a period of Christmas Holidays and, unfortunately, many shops as well as common citizens use uncertified decorations such as twinkle lights. People walk out of their houses forgetting to turn them off which may lead to unpleasant surprises on returning. Turn off all the appliances and decorations when leaving the house or the premises. Please, be considerate of your health!
Students Cultural Centre
Odessa National Medical University