Firefighters: Learn How to Handle Fighting Fires Safely

fighting fires safely

You can’t always protect yourself, but these guidelines will give you a better chance than ever. Every year, more than 100 firefighters die in the line of duty. Here are some recommendations from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for saving firefighters’ lives:

Reduce On-Duty Heart Attacks

This can be done by screening, minimizing stress, and encouraging physician involvement. NIOSH — whose fatality investigations include many firefighters felled by sudden cardiac arrest — recommends annual medical evaluations to determine whether firefighters are healthy enough to perform emergency duties and wear respirators. The agency further advises that all firefighters be enrolled in a mandatory fitness and wellness program.

Prevent Falls through Collapsed Floors

Before entering a structure, look to see if the fire is coming from underneath the building, or directly underneath an area where firefighters would be working. Do not enter the building or the area if there’s a fire coming from underneath the floor, or if the location of the fire is unknown.

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