Rules for Fighting Fire

1. Sound the alarm

Fires can be very dangerous and you should always be certain that you will not endanger yourself or others when attempting to extinguish a fire.  If you discover or suspect a fire, sound the building fire alarm.  If there is no alarm warn others by yelling 'FIRE' as you leave.

2. Leave the building

Try to rescue others only if you can do so safely. Move away from the building to your 'EVACUATION MEETING POINT' and keep clear of the Fire Department. Don't go back into the building until the Fire Department has given the all clear.

3. Call the Fire Service - DIAL 111

Give as much information as you can to the emergency dispatcher.

Total and immediate evacuation is safest.  Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is very small, you do not put yourself in danger and you know how to use the fire extinguisher.  If you can't put the fire out leave immediately.  If you do extinguish the fire still call the Fire Department just so they can check for re-ignition spots. Check out our handy PTASS document with all the steps for fighting a fire - should it be SAFE to do so.

Never fight a fire if:

  • You don't know what is burning. If you don't know what is burning you won't know what type of fire extinguisher to use - let the Fire Department handle it.
  • The fire is spreading rapidly. The time to use a fire extinguisher is in the initial or begining stages of a fire.  If the fire is spreading quickly it is best to evacuate the building.
  • Your instincts tell you not to. If you are uncomfortable with the situation for any reason, evacuate and let the Fire Department handle it.

Always remember to keep a clear exit at your back

Position yourself with an exit or means of escape at your back before you attempt to use a fire extinguisher just in case it malfunctions or something unexpected happens and you need to get out quickly.

Don't put yourself in danger

No-one should EVER put themselves in danger while attempting to fight a fire.  Leave it to the fire department.  However, if you are there at the initial combustion, you know what started the fire, there is a fire extinguisher handy, and you know how to use it then by using an extinguisher there could be a good chance you can extinguish it BUT always remember to have an exit at your back, call out to others in the building to evacuate and to phone the fire brigade.  Use the PTASS method when it is SAFE to do so.

Don't be a hero - buildings and stuff can be replaced a life can't.

The Fire Triangle - Fire Equipment HB