The triumph of all emergency response depends on the TIME TAKEN. Emergency response is one of the most important components of public safety. There is an overwhelming evidence of the relationship between the time that takes for emergency response to be effected and the outcome of most incidents.In the fire service, “total” response time is usually measured from the time a call is received by the emergency communication center to the arrival of the first responders at the scene. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)data indicates that a total of 1,13,961 people lost their lives due to fire accidents from 2010 to 2014. This is an average of 62 deaths a day.In fire accidents, response time plays a major role. In reality, the response time clock for fire suppression begins at the moment of fire ignition and continues until the fire is extinguished.
Emergency response plan
Emergencies can come without warning at any time. Being prepared is the best way to handle these unexpected incidents and disasters. The information in the Emergency Response Plan is intended to cover most emergencies but it cannot anticipate every type of situation for every disaster scenario. Basic training for emergency response allows people to react to disasters or emergencies with the initial action. Use common sense when instructions are not given or direction is not available. Think before you act, then act swiftly to minimize our exposure to danger.The trainer will train the location of fire extinguisher, fire exits, and alarm systems in the area and know how to use them. As many personnel as possible should be trained in safe evacuation procedures
Response time components include-
- Ignition – Fire ignition occurs when oxygen, fuel, and heat combine to produce flame
- Combustion -Self-sufficing chemical reaction depending on the available fuel load, a fire may grow undetected for some time prior to being detected
- Discovery or detection occurs when someone becomes aware of the fire and takes steps to mitigate the situation (e.g., calls the fire department )
- 101 activation, call processing and dispatch is the time it takes for the 101 operators to ascertain the location and type of incident and alert the appropriate emergency service providers to the emergency
- Occupant Behaviour and Evacuation time
Most of the buildings are equipped with adequate fire safety systems. Nonetheless, fires still occur, even lethal fires. During a fire, troubles frequently arise because systems were put in place with false assumptions regarding how occupants actually behave during a fire. Occupants tend to disregard the sound of the fire alarm in large public buildings such as shopping malls, airports or museum. There are a number of other factors that could have an influence on occupant response and behaviour. These factors are related to the occupants’ characteristics such as their gender, age and ability; the building characteristics such as residential (lowrise, midrise, high-rise) office, factory, hospital, hotel, college, university and shopping centre; the fire characteristics such as flame and smoke.Occupants could be seeking more information about what’s going on after they hear an alarm. They might also be taking actions to prepare to move to safety. Like gathering their belongings, getting dressed if they’re in a hotel building or if they’re in their house. They might be trying to help others get to safety. They might be alerting others. Sometimes in stressful situations in a fire, they might receive a lot of information, but we don’t have the cognitive capabilities or capacity to even pay attention to it.
Evacuation time is an important time concept in the evacuation process for recognizing the time required by the occupants to move from the hazard area to a safe region when they recognize the danger and start to evacuate. If the occupants do not start to move immediately, the time available for safe escape becomes shorter and evacuation time may be turned into one of the risk factors and so evacuation time must be 2 ½ minutes with or without assistance
Reminders for Occupants
- Never disregard or assume the alarm is false or the result of a test
- If occupants caught in smoke: Drop to knees and hands and crawl towards the nearest exit smoke will rise to ceiling level first.Hold your breath as much as possible; or cover the nose with shirt, towel or handkerchief, It may act as a smoke filter
- If clothes Catch Fire, don’t get panic and run here and there; Drop to the floor, closed the face with hands, and roll slowly in a rug or blanket. This will put out the flames
- Crawl low under smoke: If occupants have to escape through a smoke, crawl low or crouch under smoke and keep your head 25 to 65 centimetres above the ground, in order to get outside to fresh air
- Using a fire extinguisher: Only if you are trained and self-assured in fire extinguisher use. A fire extinguisher will be used when the fire is small in size (no larger than a small trash can). You are NOT obligated to fight fires of any size and when in doubt, do not attempt to fight the fire
- During fire alarm activation, never use an elevator to exit
- Everyone must evacuate the building by way of the safest and closest exit and/or stairway
- Once outside the building, move away from the building. Assemble across the street or along the sidewalk of the adjacent building
- The firefighters and fire trucks will be operating in front of the building. Do not deliberately make difficult their access to the building
- If you do realize that someone is missing, do not re-enter the building to look for them. Do not try without a firefighter’s equipment or training
Lethal first-degree respiratory burns are found to occur in just 230 seconds(under four minutes).The faster response time may significantly associate with the survival rate of fire victims.Thus the response time is recommended to be maximum 5 minutes in an urban area and 20 minutes in rural areas.