In Florida, many burn injuries occur inside the home, where hot liquids, chemicals, and fires can occur inside the home. However, each year many Florida residents are injured and sustain burn injuries in public places, such as schools, hotels, and places of work. These burns can be especially difficult to deal with because you may be less familiar with public surroundings and you may have less access to a first aid kit or other help. If a fire breaks out in a public building, pushing and panic from others caught in the fire can cause slip and fall accidents, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries as everyone runs for the exits. To reduce your chances of serious burn injuries in Florida’s public buildings:
1) Get to know the evacuation plans and the exits in buildings where you work and stay. Get to know exits, especially. In the event of a fire, the building may be very dark, so you need to be certain where you are going. In most buildings, fire exits are clearly marked with lit signs.
2) Keep all fire exits are unlocked and clear of clutter. If you notice that a building you visit frequently has inaccessible fire exits, talk to the manager or owner of the building. He or she is violating fire codes by not providing easy access to fire exits. If the problem persists, do not be shy about reporting the fire hazard.
3) Look for the smoke detectors. Each public building should have them. Make sure that these detectors work and that you know what the alarm sounds like. In a building where you spend a lot of time – such as the place you work or volunteer – suggest fire drills.
4) Treat every alarm as though it is a fire. Some fire alarms malfunction or are pulled by pranksters regularly, and this makes people inside the building blasé about responding to the alarm. In a fire situation, this can be a real danger. As soon as you hear the alarm, leave the building and pull doors closed behind you as you go.
5) If you are trapped in a building during a fire, crawl low to the ground to avoid smoke inhalation. Cover your mouth and nose with a moist cloth and try to leave the building if it is safe to do so. Before opening any door, check to see whether the doorknob and space around the door is hot. If it is hot, do not open the door as fire may be very close. If the door is cool, open the door slowly, check to see that the route is clear and close the door behind you when you leave. Draw attention to your plight if you cannot get out. Yell for help out of the window, call the fire department, or wave a large object out a window to draw attention to yourself. Get away from the fire and try to close as many doors as possible to give yourself a cushion. Place cloth under all doors to seal out smoke and wait for help.
Public buildings have an obligation to provide a safe environment to employees and visitors. If you or a loved one has been injured in a public building that did not provide working smoke detectors or adequate fire exits, Florida law protects you and ensures that you have the resources necessary to get help for your condition. If you have been injured in a public building, seek the services of a good Florida attorney. A good Florida lawyer can help you get the compensation you are entitled to under the law and can ensured that others are not injured by unsafe building conditions in the future. If you need to speak to a Florida attorney, you can enjoy a free, no-obligation consultation with a qualified Florida lawyer simply by calling 1- 800-535-2962 (1 800 5 FLAXMAN).