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Fire Safety

The threat from fire is much higher in many parts of the world than it is in the UK, this is as result of the construction materials used, the firs safety equipment and the management systems.

Once again the much maligned ‘health & safety’ which gets so much negative press has produced very strict regulation, which provides the protection we take for granted.

When you travel to other countries it should be anticipated that these strict regulations are not always going to be in place or enforced; regular incidents from around the world go to demonstrate this.

As with most aspects of travel safety fire safety is about risk reduction, looking for the risks which present themselves and finding ways you can act to reduce them.

We don’t want people to become paranoid, because that paranoia will ruin a trip. Our approach is to examine the main causes of injury and death from fire and how you can mitigate those risks.

The causes of fire are more difficult to detect or respond to; unless it is very obvious are you really going to be able to inspect the wiring of the accommodation you are staying in? Probably not.

Many people also put too much emphasis on fire fighting equipment; fire extinguishers have their uses, but rely on them you certainly shouldn’t. Using one is something to be attempted only if you have the knowledge of how to do so safely.

The two most effective risk reduction measures you can take are to understand the quickest and safest way out of a building and to choose an appropriate room which makes egress from a building easiest.

Performing a simple ‘walk-round’ of the available evacuation routes will save crucial time and provide vital confidence in the case of an emergency. It is frustratingly familiar to find emergency exit padlocked for ‘security reasons’ and almost all large fatal fires have one thing in common, blocked or locked fire exits.

By having some fire safety  knowledge, you can ask to move room or in public buildings stay nearer to open evacuation routes.

If this all sounds rather ‘a lot of effort’, it’s not. This is not your workplace your risk assessment is not going to be a 50 page document. The checks we demonstrate on our Independent Travel Safety and Cultural Awareness Workshop are simple and effective. You can incorporate most of them into you room inspection and check-in process and after a short while they become second nature and therefore take no time to complete.

‘Fire kills’ the saying goes; all too often this is true, when simple precautions and a little knowledge could have prevented it.