Fire Department: During Fires, Shut Door, Open Window, and Call 119
Following a recent fire in Taoyuan City claiming 2 lives, another fire in Taipei on the morning of February 12 also resulted in a casualty from hiding in the bathroom. Taipei City Fire Department stressed that in addition to reminding people of the importance of installing smoke alarms, boosting disaster preparedness and escape time, it is equally important to educate the public on evacuation concepts and actions.Fire statistics over the past decade indicate that the locations seeing the most number of casualties during fires are respectively bedrooms (51.2%), living rooms (12.8%), and bathrooms (10.5%). According to the Fire Department, typical bathrooms will leave openings for the purpose of ventilation, which makes them ineffective in keeping out smoke during fires. In addition, with the majority of bathroom doors being made from wood or plastic, they are unable to keep out the flames. Finally, most bathrooms do not have outward-facing window. The lack of fresh air and ventilation may further endanger the lives of those fleeing the flames.When residents notice a fire outside the room and large amount of smoke prevents escape, they should immediately shut the door and use clothing or blankets to barricade any opening to prevent more smoke from entering. If there are windows or openings in the room facing outside, they should immediately open it and call 119. After providing information on their locations, they should wait for the rescuers. People often react in fear and confusion in an environment of heat, high temperature, and smoke. Therefore, keeping track of escape routes and identifying more than one exit on a regular basis is the key to protecting oneself and family members. To help the public acquire safety tips during fires, the Fire Department has published the “Taipei Fire Prevention Go” pamphlet. To download a free digital copy of the pamphlet, please visit either the disaster prevention website (http://www.eoc.gov.taipei/EOC)(Chinese) or the Fire Department’s Chinese website (http://www.119.gov.taipei/).