The fire is a common and serious emergency situation that security has to deal with. As a security guard, your main duty is to protect people and property but the fire can destroy both in a minute.
You should manage and look over the fire hazard on your site. Mostly, the security guards are the first person to detect in the early stage of fire. In the case of fire, you have to know how to react quickly and confidently.
So, you should know the available types of fire equipment and their location on your site. Not only this but also you must get training for operating the fire equipment. Your own safety and safety of others depends on your hand.
If you have not experienced the fire scene before, it is hard to imagine how it looks like. The fire in the video and movies is nothing because we do not feel the heat and breath of smoke.
In the real fire, many things existing such as smoke, flame and heat many people kill through inhaling the smoke than getting burnt. The transparent gases are released from the burning substances. The gases are lighter than the air so they can spread quickly throughout the building. They are toxic that the result, people can die quickly after inhaling it.
The fire is quick and fatal. When you are at the fire scene you may have not time to think how to handle it. Most importantly, you should know your fire safety plan very well and your role in case of fire at your site.
What are fire safety and emergency procedures plans?
Every company has an emergency situation plan which includes evacuation routes, firefighting equipment and the contact number of In-charge in the case of an emergency.
Some company has a complex emergency situation plan I mean the different emergency has a different action plan and different contact person depending on the emergency. Even though how the detail of the plans is, the purpose is the same, prepare people before an emergency happen.
Make sure there is an emergency situation plan in your workplace not only this but you read and understand also. If you are sure the plan does not exist then, ask the client and inform your supervisor or manager regarding this.
Another important point is to read the plan often. Doing this can remain fresh in your mind the emergency procedure and your role on it. That’s why in case of emergency you can handle a situation without thinking what is in your emergency responding plan.
If there is no emergency situation plan in your site ask your roles in case of emergency. Don’t wait until the situation happens and look for the answer. As a security guard, you have the rights to suggest your company or clients if anything relates to the safety and security of the people and property.
The fire can take place if the following 3 things are presented and coordinated with each other.
Fuel: The fuels are substances which burn in the fire if they get enough heat. The material can be anything and any form such as solid, liquid or gas. In other words, these called combustible materials.
Heat: The heat brings enough temperature to the material and they ignite that’s the cause of the fire. Without sufficient temperature, the fire can not start.
Air: The fire requires oxygen to breathe and grow just like we do. For our respiratory, we need 21% of the oxygen so, it is not hard to fire take place anywhere people can breathe.
- Class A, (Ordinary combustible): paper, wood, plastic
- Class B, (Flammable liquid): petrol, diesel, kerosene, paint, thinner
- Class C, (Flammable gases): LPG & CNG
- Class D, Electrical
- Class E, Metal fire
The easiest way to deal with fire is preventing it from happening in a first place
Fire put out method;
Cooling: In this method, we lower the temperature if we remove the heat from the fire the fuel will cool, without enough temperature the fuel cannot combustible and burning.
Smothering: Smothering is another method of putting the fire out. Here, we remove the air or oxygen from the fire. For Examples, putting a lid on a frying pan or covering the fire by fire blanket.
Starvation: When we remove the fuel from the source of fire such as turning off the gas, removing anything that is burning or may burn. pump flammable liquids away from a burning tank.
A security guard must familiar with the following things.
- Fire doors are intended to keep a fire within a specific area, some doors are designed atomically closed in the event of a fire alarm.
The Fire exits
- Fire exits provide an escape route for people in case of fire.
- Panic bars allow a fire door to remain unlocked from the inside but locked from outside.
- Know your building and always assume that every fire alarm is a real fire.
- Look like cloth but made of special chemical and fiber. if the fire is small we can cover the fire using the blanket.
- If the fire is in the human body you can use to wrap the person’s body to put out the fire.
- But make sure when you use the blanket it covers the full fire otherwise, the fire will not stop.
Cause of the Fire Hazards
Poor housekeeping: – Sometimes things are not properly put away, lying around or put in the wrong place.
Poor maintenance: – Sometimes things are not kept in good repair or are not properly made.
Improper uses: – Sometimes things are used carelessly or not according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Arson: – Arson happens when someone starts a fire on purpose. It is important for security guards to be on the lookout for this.
Spontaneous combustion: – Chemical changes can take place in some materials. Over time, enough heat can build up inside to make them burst into flames. For example, Oily rags, flammable liquids, floor oils, hay, grain, charcoal, soft coal, and foam rubber can all start on fire if not properly stored.
Fire extinguishers and their uses
As a security guard, you must know and trained to handle the fire extinguisher in case of fire at your workplace. When fire you must use the specific fire extinguisher for a specific fire to put it out.
Types of fire extinguisher;
- Water:- It is the cheapest and most widely used fire extinguishers. Used for Class A fires. Not suitable for use in Class B (Liquid) fires, or where electricity is involved.
When you use the water extinguisher to put out the Class B fire the oil is lighter and it can easily float in the water hence, the fire can spread. If you use the water to put out class E (Electrical) fire it is a danger of shock if the electricity line is not off.
2. Foam fire extinguisher:- It is more expensive than water made of chemical liquid. Used for Classes A & B fires. Foam spray extinguishers are not recommended for fires involving electricity but are safer than water if unknowingly sprayed onto live electrical apparatus.
3. DCP (Dry Cleaning Powder fire extinguishers):- DCP Often called the ‘multi-purpose’ extinguisher, as it can be used on classes A, B & C fires. Best for running liquid fires (Class B).
But, make sure when used for (class C) fire can be dangerous without first isolating the gas supply.
When you use the DCP indoors, the powder can unclear vision or damaged goods and machinery. It is also very messy.
4. CO2 fire extinguisher:- Carbon Dioxide or CO2 is generally use against the fire at electrical apparatus, and will also extinguish class B liquid fires, but beware of when used in class B fire can ignite again.
Colour Coding of fire extinguisher
Water – Red
Foam – Cream
Dry Powder – Blue
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – Black
Halon – Green
(Halon fire extinguisher is illegal to present against any types of fire because of the health concern of the people but still some cases the military and police may have exceptional rights in some country ).
- Handled extinguishers
- Movable extinguishers
- Water extinguishers
- Chemical powder extinguishers
- Contain fabric hose
- Are water-based
- May required you to break the glass door
- May operate under greater pressure
Method of use the fire extinguisher
P= pull the safety pin
A= Aim the low at the base of the fire
S= squeeze the lever above the handle
S= sweep side by side.
- Be observant (why are those people looking up, is there is any fire on the room)
- Be aware of your normal surroundings (To ensure the availability of the Are there items blocking fire exits).
- Building fire may also be a crime scene. If the fire has been deliberately set, you should prepare to answer questions from the police officers.
On the one hand, the security guards have to know fires safety plan of their site and another hand knowing how to deal with fire is equally important.
Dealing with fire:
- The goal of dealing with fire is not just to put it out, but to possibly put in a place where it damages E.g. if you have a burning wastebasket you may able to pull it into the center of the room.
- Guards have not fired fighter, but you can save lives and property by acting quickly on a small fire. Security can prevent a small fire from becoming a big one.
- There are other ways that a fire can extinguish without directly involving a security guard (sprinkler system)
- The security guard should know the standpipe system which is for the civil defense to connect water to continue the function of sprinkler system.
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