What to do in the event of a fire in a building, train, ship and airplane

Nobody is immune from fire. Read this guide to avoid panic in an emergency and to save yourself and others.

Actions in the event of a fire in a building

1. If you see a fire just starting, try to extinguish it with a fire extinguisher or other available means: cover with a thick blanket, cover with sand, fill with water. But never put out a burning wiring and appliances connected to the mains with water. This is extremely dangerous.

2. Call the fire department or have someone else do it for you. In Russia, call 01 from a landline phone, 101 from a mobile. In Ukraine and Belarus – dial 101 from a landline or mobile phone.

3. If you understand that you cannot cope with the fire, immediately leave the premises. Try to get people inside the building, or at least warn them about the fire.

4. Choose the safest escape route possible. Do not use elevators during a fire. Go down the stairs only.

5. If a fire catches you in a school, hospital, university, or other public building, you can most likely find an escape plan on the walls. Use it if necessary.

6. Don’t run at random. Before opening a closed door in a burning building, touch it with the back of your hand. If you feel warmth with your hand, do not open the door: there is fire behind it.

7. If the flame cuts off the exit path:

  • Go to the room farthest from the fire, close all doors tightly behind you. Open a window (don’t do this if the room is already on fire) or go out onto the balcony and try to attract people’s attention by shouting for help. When they see you, they will call the firefighters.
  • If possible, plug the gaps between the floor and the door with a wet cloth, turn off the power and turn off the gas.
  • If the room is filled with smoke, breathe through a damp cloth. Check if the doors are tightly closed and lean out the open window. If there is no access to it or a stream of smoke is pouring through the window, stay as close to the floor as possible.

8. If a fire engulfed the room, try to get out of the window using sheets or other improvised means as ropes. As a last resort, jump out into the street, but remember: rescuers do not recommend jumping from a height exceeding two floors.

Actions in the event of a fire in transport

On a ground train

one. If you notice a fire, report the emergency to the conductor or contact the driver via the intercom. Follow the instructions given.

2. If it was not possible to talk to the staff, go to the next carriage with the rest of the people and report the fire to the other conductors.

3. As a last resort, use the stop crane and leave the stopped train through doors or windows, helping other passengers.

In the underground

1. If a fire catches you in a subway car, try to extinguish the fire. Close windows, breathe through fabric, use a fire extinguisher or other available means: heavy clothing and alcohol-free drinks.

2. Using the intercom, inform the driver about the situation.

3. If the fire gets out of control, move away from it, go down and wait for a stop. Do not use the stop crane: the train is moving at high speed, and you will quickly reach the station where you can get help.

4. If the train gets stuck in the middle of the tunnel, wait for the driver’s message that the tracks are de-energized. Squeeze or smash the windows and leave the carriage while helping the others. Then head between the rails in the direction of the train movement.

On the ship

1. If you find a fire on the ship, immediately inform the crew.

2. Follow the commands of the captain. If necessary, by ship radio or other means, passengers will be ordered to leave the cabins on the deck to the lifeboats. As you leave, keep calm and help others.

3. If possible, obtain a life jacket or buoy from the crew.

4. If the exit is cut off by fire or blocked, close the cabin door tightly, break the window glass and try to get out. If you find yourself in a dead end, call other passengers on their mobiles, if possible, and ask for help. As a last resort, wrap a wet cloth over your head and body and try to break through the smoke and fire.

In the airplane

1. If you are the first to spot a fire on board, notify the crew as soon as possible. Do not panic and follow the instructions given by the personnel.

2. Use a cloth soaked in any non-flammable liquid to protect the respiratory tract from smoke.

3. Do not try to break the window glass or open the door during the flight: this can lead to depressurization of the cabin and an accident.

4. After waiting for an emergency landing, on command, go to the exit near the wing. Don’t push. If the aisle in the cabin is full of people, move through the seats.

5. Do not think about valuable things, save your own and other people’s lives.


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