Fire is a powerful force of nature that can cause destruction and devastation in its wake. The effects can be catastrophic, whether it’s a raging wildfire or a small house fire.
In such situations, knowing how to react and what actions to take is important. One scenario that can be particularly challenging is encountering a person on fire.
The mere thought of it can be terrifying, but it’s important to stay calm and take the appropriate steps to ensure the best possible outcome.
In this blog, we’ll explore the various aspects of this situation and offer guidance on what to do if you ever find yourself in it.
First Step: Personal Safety
A. Assess the situation and potential dangers
Quickly evaluate the surroundings to determine the extent of the fire and potential hazards.
Look for immediate threats, such as spreading flames, smoke, or other hazardous materials.
Take note of any obstacles or obstacles that may impede your ability to reach the person on fire safety.
B. Take necessary precautions to protect yourself from the fire
Prioritize your safety and well-being before attempting to help the person on fire.
Stay calm and try to think rationally to make sound decisions.
Keep a safe distance from the flames to avoid getting caught in the fire.
Position yourself upwind from the fire to minimize smoke inhalation.
Find a barrier or shield (e.g., wall, door) to protect yourself from the heat and flames.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth or mask to reduce inhalation of smoke and toxic fumes.
C. Locate a nearby fire extinguisher or any other firefighting equipment, if available
Look for fire extinguishers in the immediate vicinity, such as on walls or in designated fire safety equipment locations.
If you spot a fire extinguisher, ensure it is easily accessible and not blocked by obstacles.
Familiarize yourself with the instructions on how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
Take note of their locations if other firefighting equipment, such as fire blankets or sand buckets, is available nearby.
If possible and safe, retrieve the fire extinguisher or appropriate firefighting equipment to have it ready for use.
What To Do If You Find Someone On Fire
Fire accidents can happen at any time and anywhere. Knowing how to respond appropriately when you encounter someone on fire is essential.
Being prepared can make a significant difference in saving a person’s life. Here are some steps to take if you find someone on fire:
Step 1: Stay calm and call for help
The first and most crucial step is to stay calm and call for help immediately. Dial the emergency number in your country, such as 911, and give them the exact location and situation.
Please provide as many details as possible, such as the person’s age, gender, and the extent of their injuries. Do not hang up until the operator tells you to do so.
Step 2: Encourage the person to drop and roll to put out the flames
If the person is conscious and can move, encourage them to drop and roll to put out the flames.
This technique involves rolling on the ground repeatedly to extinguish the fire. It can be challenging, but it is the most effective way to extinguish the flames.
Ensure the person knows how to do it correctly and safely.
Step 3: Use a fire extinguisher, if available
If you can access a fire extinguisher, use it to put out the flames. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire and use a sweeping motion to extinguish the fire.
However, ensure you know how to use the fire extinguisher properly before attempting to use it.
Step 4: Smother the flames with a blanket or jacket
Without a fire extinguisher, use a blanket or jacket to smother the flames. Cover the person with a blanket or jacket and roll them on the ground until the flames are extinguished.
Do not use synthetic materials; they can melt and stick to the person’s skin, causing further injuries.
Step 5: Do NOT use water, oil, or other liquids, as they can worsen the fire
Water, oil, or other liquids can worsen the fire and cause severe burns.
Water can spread the flames, while oil and other liquids can ignite the fire and cause further injuries. Therefore, avoiding using any liquids to put out the flames is crucial.
First Aid For Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can be painful and distressing, but knowing how to provide immediate first aid can greatly reduce the severity of the injury and improve the healing process.
Understanding the different types of burns and their severity is essential to determine the most appropriate first aid for the injury.
Assessing the Burn
To determine the appropriate first aid for a burn injury, you must assess the severity of the burn. Here are some steps to follow:
Determine the severity of the burn: Identify whether it is a first, second, or third-degree burn.
Assess the size of the burn: Look at the size of the burn and determine if it is bigger than the size of your hand. Burns that are larger than your hand require medical attention.
Check for signs of infection: Look for signs of infection, such as oozing pus or a foul smell.
First Aid for Burn Injuries
Cool the Burn: Immediately flush the burn with cool running water for several minutes. This helps to reduce the heat from the skin and prevent further damage.
Cover the Burn: Cover it with a sterile gauze bandage once it is cooled. This helps to prevent infection and keep the wound clean.
Take Pain Relief Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Seek Medical Attention: If the burn is severe or covers a large body area, seek medical attention immediately. Burns that affect the face, hands, feet, or genitals also require medical attention.
If you discover a person on fire, remaining calm and taking immediate action are paramount.
Call emergency services right away and provide clear details about the situation. Encourage the person to stop, drop, and roll to extinguish the flames on their clothing, and if available, use a fire extinguisher or smother the flames with a non-synthetic material.
Never use water or other liquids, as they can worsen the fire. Prioritize personal safety and remember the importance of fire safety measures, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, in preventing such incidents.
Hi, I m Aaron Smith, a firefighter, and creator of Firefighterline.com, a website that provides top-notch training courses for firefighting organizations. After completing my studies, I quickly rose through the fire service ranks, eventually becoming Captain at one of the busiest fire departments in the state.