When the topic revolves around emergencies, everyone always says that you shouldn’t panic. If you think about it, that’s easier said than done. Unless you’re a firefighter trained to properly respond to a fire or any other emergency, the likelihood that you won’t panic is low.
If a fire occurs in your building, the sensors will tell you right away and you might remember the drill to getting out of there immediately and safely. There are also fire hazard warningsafety signs in areas where the fire might be coming from to let you know not to go there.
However, as soon as one person in your group finds it hard to breathe because of the smoke, panic will surely settle in. How do youstop yourself from panicking,too?
Stick to the drill
Even when everyone else is rushing to get out of the building, it’s important that you stick to what you’ve been taught and don’t make a run for it. Most buildings today are equipped with sprinklers, so the moment a fire erupts, the water will do its best to snuff it out.
Also, if you try to make a run for it, there’s a huge possibility that you’d trip and be trampled on. The barrage of people making for the exit could unbalance you. What you should do if they start running for the exit is to stay as far away from the middle of the crowd so that you won’t get pinned down.
Breathe through a clean cloth
If you’re in a building that’s on fire, chances are the smoke has already entered every room and corridor. So, it won’t be wise to use your breathing exercises to calm yourself down because you’d only suffocate. What you should do instead is to cover your mouth with a clean cloth, like your handkerchief, and breathe slowly.
The cloth will keep the smoke from getting in your lungs and making you cough. Also, smoke and heat tend to go up. So, get as low as possible without letting other people trample you because that’s where you’ll be able to breathe clean air. As you move closer to the floor, the less hot it will feel, as well.
Visualise the exits
You should try your best to remember your fire drills, especially where the fire exits are. Once you’ve recalled the nearest fire exit in your mind, visualise yourself reaching that exit. Imagine yourself walking calmly from your office desk up to the exit.
Try to block out the images of your officemates making a run for the exit. The more you focus on other people running, the more likely that you’ll end up running as well. Focus only on your plan to get to the exit as quickly but calmly as possible.
Preventing yourself from panicking in an emergency can be difficult since most of us don’t receive training that’s quite close to a real emergency. But, hopefully, with the suggestions above, you’ll be able to keep yourself from hitting the panic button.