By Chris King • 12 June 2022 • 1:10
Image of a fire extinguisher.
Credit: Pexels - Chan Walrus
According to data extracted this Saturday, June 11, from the study of fire victims in Spain in 2020, Andalucia is the autonomous community with the highest number of home fire interventions by the Fire Brigade. It showed a total of 4,489 out of the 17,037 that occurred throughout the national territory in 2020, according to diariodesevilla.es.
Sevilla is the province with the most interventions, with 1,671, followed by Malaga with 872. Cadiz totalled 785, Granada 343, Huelva 218, Almeria 209, Cordoba 200, and finally, Jaen with 191.
Andalucia is also the region of Spain with the highest number of fatalities in domestic fires, with 18.5 per cent of the total. These data were prepared by the Mapfre Foundation and the Professional Association of Firefighters, which confirmed that there are an average of 16 fires every hour in Spain, 80 per cent of them in the domestic sphere.
Iberext is a company specialising in fire protection, and it offers guidelines for actions that people can take in the event of a fire breaking out at home. It is advice that can help people protect themselves and prevent accidents from occurring.
You should always know the emergency exits of your home or block, and also the location of fire extinguishers if required. Fire doors, when fitted, must always be kept closed at all times, as they help to stop fires from spreading.
If you have the appropriate means and the source is located, then attempt to extinguish the flames. Use a fire extinguisher or a fire blanket. Depending on the type of fire, there is normally a margin of two or three minutes to extinguish it. Once that time has passed, it is too late and you must leave the house.
It is important to remember not to pour water directly on the flame or try to extinguish it with air, as this is counterproductive in most cases.
The enemy is not fire, it is smoke, as smoke poses a danger to human beings. As few as five inhalations can be fatal. For this reason, it is necessary to stay as far away as possible from smoke, avoid areas where it spreads, and always protect the face and body with wet towels.
Leave home, take the keys, close all the doors, and do not use the elevator. It is something that is not always known, but closing the door of the room where the fire began is of great help to confine the fire. Wooden doors are capable of containing a fire for a period of between 20 and 25 minutes.
Don’t waste time getting any belongings, and don’t use the elevator, as the building may lose power, leaving you trapped inside. If the accesses to the exit of your house are on fire or filled with smoke, you should confine yourself to the room furthest from the source of the fire. Cover any cracks with towels to prevent smoke from entering. Once you are safe, notify the emergency services.
Zero risk does not exist, but all homes should have basic protection systems including smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and a fire blanket.
As Pedro Moreno Borreguero, CEO of Iberext, explained: “fires are a failure for society as a whole, from the security forces to the Administration, including companies, building owners, and even the citizens themselves. For this reason, education in action protocols and prevention systems are so important”.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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