No two fire emergencies will be exactly the same, and by nature emergencies are often unpredictable. However, understanding how to respond in the case of a fire emergency is key to ensuring the safety of both customers and employees. Petrol station owners should be aware of appropriate response protocol depending on the severity and location of the fire, as well as when and how to administer first aid.
A firm understanding of how to assist an injured individual, as well as what nuanced responses are necessary for different fire incidents will help service station owners and their employees be prepared in case of an emergency.
Swift medical attention and assistance in the case of an injured person is paramount to ensuring not only their wellbeing, but the wellbeing of others. Understanding standard first aid protocol will help you and your staff to quicken response times and administer care to harmed individuals more effectively. In the event of an injury, it is important to follow a few standard guidelines.
If an individual has sustained an injury due to a fire emergency, do not move them unless they are exposed to life-threatening danger. Moving an injured person could result in further bodily harm and should be avoided until their safety can be guaranteed by medical professionals. If you must move the injured person, do so gently and with support to the head and neck avoiding twisting or sudden movements.
Remain with Injured Person(s)
It is important to stay with an injured person until emergency services arrive in order to ensure they are not exposed to further harm, and can be attended to promptly. In order to provide basic first aid to non-serious injuries, make sure that all petrol station personnel know the location of the site’s first aid kit.
Cease Site Operation
If a person or persons are seriously injured as a result of an explosion or fire, all normal site operations should be ceased immediately. Full attention should be redirected and focused on the wellbeing of the injured person.
Before providing aid to any individual, it is imperative that gloves are worn. Always in sure that further safety risks have been identified and that no individuals remain at risk of further injury.
Fire Response By Location
Response to an incident of fire will vary in accordance to the location and situational details of the emergency. Having a plan for each type of emergency ensures that your service station is prepared to respond in the event of a fire or explosion. The following outline a few common fire situations and best response protocol:
Clothes On Fire
In the event that an individual has ignited their clothing, the following steps should be taken to minimize injury and further harm. Instruct the person to lie on the ground, and cover them immediately with a fire blanket, jacket, or similar item which will stop the flow of oxygen to the fire. If a dry chemical extinguisher is available, engage the fire beginning at the individuals head, working downward to ensure the fire is extinguished.
Once extinguished, assess the individual for injuries and follow first aid protocol as described above.
One of the areas at highest risk to fire is your petrol station’s forecourt where vehicles are fueled and dispensers are located. In the event of a fire on your service station’s forecourt, the following steps should be taken to ensure the safety of patrons and personnel.
First, check to see if there are injured individuals. If injuries have been sustained, follow first aid protocol above. If no injuries have been sustained, begin guiding all people away from the fire to the determined emergency meeting point. If the fire is small, attempt to extinguish the flames using a dry chemical fire extinguisher. If the fire cannot be extinguished or is too large to engage, leave the site immediately and proceed to the emergency meeting point before calling 000.
Vehicle on Fire
If a vehicle has ignited on site at your service station, measures should be taken to prevent further damage and deescalate the fire. Before any further action is taken, ensure all individuals have exited the vehicle safely. Once all persons have exited safely and you have checked for injured people, proceed with the following protocol.
If the vehicle is near a dispenser, assess the situation to determine whether it can be moved to a safer location. If able, remove the vehicle from the dispenser vicinity to prevent fire escalation.
If the fire in question is small, you should attempt to extinguish with a dry chemical fire extinguisher. Fires location in the engine bay of the vehicle should be engaged, when safe, by marginally opening the bonnet and extinguishing the fire through the gap. Never open the bonnet completely when flames are present.
If you are not able to extinguish the fire, guide all persons away from the area towards the emergency meeting point and wait for emergency services to arrive.
ServoPro Members can access staff training through our online training course, ServoSkills. By completing the ServoSkills training course, staff will be fully trained in how to respond to a fire.
For more information contact Dan Armes on 0490 415 063 or [email protected]