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Durban fire sends five people to hospital for smoke inhalation - would you know what to do if they were your employees?

by , 11 June 2014
A fire broke out on St George Street in Durban on Monday. It sent five people to hospital for smoke inhalation.

The scary fact about fires is most fire deaths aren't caused by burns. eMedicinehealth.com says that between 50% and 80% of fire-related deaths are actually from smoke inhalation injuries. This because the person can't get any oxygen and, as a result, they suffocate.

If a fire starts in your workplace, you might be able to stop the flames. But this doesn't mean your employees won't still suffer serious smoke inhalation.

Keep reading to discover the number one way to prevent this tragedy.

*********** Reader's choice  ***************
Do your employees know about the different fire equipment?
 
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Here's what to do if one of your employees inhales smoke during a fire

If one of your employees inhales smoke because of a fire, you must act fast. eMedicineHealth.com says the best smoke inhalation treatment is to remove them from the smokey area as soon as possible.
 
Take them to an area where there's clean air. 
 
This will help if they have mild smoke inhalation and can still breathe.
 
If they've stopped breathing, someone with first aid training must give the person CPR while you wait for emergency medical help to arrive.
 
But with all things, prevention is better than cure. So what's the best way to prevent this problem?

Proper ventilation can save your employees from smoke inhalation 

Proper ventilation will allow smoke to escape and clear if there's a fire in your workplace. To check if you have proper ventilation, the Health and Safety Advisor says you must check that the:
 

- CO2 levels from an eight hour work day don't go above 0.5%;
- CO2 levels at any time don't go above 3%;
- Air in your workplace doesn't exceed the occupational exposure limit for airborne substances; and
- Air in your workplace doesn't exceed the low explosive limit for concentrated explosive/flammable gas, vapours or dust.
 
If your ventilation system passes these checks, you'll be able to protect your employees from deadly smoke inhalation in the event of a fire. 
 
*********** Hot off the press  ************
Revealed: The one vital element MISSING FROM 88% of all first aid training!
 
Do your first aiders know what it is?
 
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