News | WPS Disaster Management Solutions

By: Wps Disaster Management Solutions  09-12-2011
Keywords: Fire Safety, Earthquake

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When: November 29 to December 1, with pre-conference workshops taking place November 28

Where: Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel

Who Should Attend? Emergency Service Volunteers, Emergency Management Policy Makers and Planners, Health Professionals, Educators, Elected and Appointed Officials, Public and Private Sector Executives and Managers, Frontline Responders, Risk and Business Continuity Managers, Safety Officers and Emergency Management Consultants.

Let this video serve as a reminder to be safe and fire smart this Halloween weekend.

Never block a doorway with decorations

Halloween is just less than a week away. Be fire smart at home and the office this Halloween with these five simple fire safety tips:

  1. Never, ever leave a burning candle unattended! This includes those often placed inside Jack-O-Lanterns, instead use flameless, battery-operated candles to avoid starting a fire.
  2. When decorating your home or office space, make sure you leave exit routes clear of any and all decorations. It may seem harmless to block a fire escape for a day or two, but in the event of a fire your festive decorations could prove fatal.
  3. Replace real candles with flameless varieties whenever possible, especially in your home.
  4. Experiment with other light sources, such as coloured light sticks, which can add a festive glow to your space without the fire risk.

While some of these tips may seem obvious, the reality is that numerous people spend Halloween in the emergency room because of preventable fires – don’t be one of them! Be fire smart this Halloween.

It’s the Great BC Shake-out today at 10:20am. If you live in British Columbia, get ready to Drop, Cover and Hold-On at exactly 10:20 PST this morning as part of the province’s largest-scale earthquake drill.

If you don’t live in BC, this is still a great time to review what you would do in the event of an emergency situation, such as an earthquake. The more we practise our emergency procedures, the easier they are to remember.

In the event of an earthquake you want to Drop – Cover – and Hold-On to a large, sturdy object, such as a heavy table or desk. Stay underneath the object until the shaking has stopped for 10 seconds and then be very careful when you get up as objects may have fallen during the shaking. If there are no sturdy objects for you to hide under, get into the corner of the room, sit with your back up against the wall with your knees up and your head down and your arms up protecting your neck. Never stand in a doorway! You would be a target for flying objects and would likely get injured.

This video, from demonstrates the proper drop, cover and hold position:

With Halloween approaching, a lot of people are buying up fireworks in hopes of dazzling their neighbours with celebratory displays of light and fire. Fireworks may look great, but they can also be a dangerous fire hazard if the proper precautions aren’t taken.

First, make sure that fireworks are allowed in your area as many by-laws prohibit them. If they are allowed, take the following steps to make sure that your firework show is as safe as possible:

  1. Thoroughly read any instructions that are included with individual fireworks
  2. Choose a well-cleared area with at least 20  square meters of space to light fireworks
  3. Check wind speed and direction. Wind should be blowing away from nearby dwellings
  4. Keep a pail of water nearby to extinguish any stray incendiaries
  5. Store unlit fireworks away from the firing area
  6. Never attempt to re-light a firework that fails to ignite on the first try
  7. Make sure to wear non-flammable clothing while lighting fireworks
  8. Do not light fireworks during periods of dry weather or if a fire ban is in effect

We are in the middle of Fire Prevention Week, an annual event that commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. If you haven’t done anything to better prepare yourself, or your business, for a fire emergency, look no further than these three tips for some motivation.

  1. Have a Plan – this is the single, most important thing you can do to get better prepared

In honour of next week being Fire Prevention Week I thought I’d start off on a lighthearted note with a Friday Funny video of the infamous character Fire Marshal Bill portrayed by Jim Carey.

While we certainly don’t condone Fire Marshall Bill’s actions, we do want you to look around your home and office for fire hazards and take action to fix them – without lighting anything on fire, of course!

As you may already know, the Great BC ShakeOut is in just over two weeks. Thursday October 20th at 10:20am PST to be exact. To better prepare you for what you need to do, we’re showing this video that demonstrates the proper Drop, Cover and Hold On. Some people still think that standing in a sturdy doorway is the best place to be – it’s not because debris will be flying around the room and you need to protect yourself from it. Here’s how:

Of course, people laugh and comment on them, but ultimately there is an underlying truth to these signs. Have we gone too far with Social Media when it comes to our own personal safety? Disaster response comes to mind. I recall seeing videos from the latest earthquake in Japan and people were standing in the middle of a room during the quake video taping it instead of ducking, covering and holding. These videos were immediately uploaded to YouTube for all to see. It’s almost as if, in that moment, the number of hits a video would get took precedence over personal safety.

Social media has changed the way we communicate forever. It’s true that twitter is an excellent way to communicate with others during a disaster, when conventional telephone lines are too busy. Facebook is a great way to tell your friends and family that you are okay, but timing is everything. One has to wonder, are people waiting until they are safe to tweet about the emergency they are experiencing, or are people’s lives being put at risk while they are busy updating the world.

What do you think? Are you guilty of rushing to tweet or update your status before ensuring your own safety?

Keywords: Earthquake, Fire Safety

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