Mountain Safety – 7 Simple Ways to Stay Safe in the Hills

Staying safe hiking

Hiking is fantastic form of exercise, enabling walkers to enjoy the outdoors, take in the fabulous scenery, and most importantly, get their heart rate up for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, mountains can be a dangerous environment, and should rarely be attempted alone, especially if in experienced.

Mountain conditions are notorious for changing very quickly; weather can go from clear skies to thick fog in a matter of minutes.

So here are a few tips for staying safe in the mountains

1. Plan your route, stick to it, tell people

Having a well planned route is essential to mountain safety. You must have a very clear idea of where you’re going. Make people who are not in your walking party aware of your plan also. If you are staying out for several days, make sure you check in when you can. Never deviate from your plan without first telling people.

2. Have the correct skills

As a minimum, everyone should be able to use a map and compass, and it is ideally worth having a first aider in your party. In most cases, you don’t need to be an expert at everything, but having enough skills in map-reading and basic first aid is usually a good start.

3. Take the correct equipment, know how to use it.

Make sure you have the right equipment. Remember, it’s always possible that you will be out overnight or need to be rescued. There is basic equipment and supplies you should never leave without:

  • A topographical map of the area of sufficient detail (in the UK, an OS Explorer map, 1:25,000 scale is perfect)
  • A compass (must know how to use it!)
  • A torch
  • A whistle
  • Waterproof matches / firelighting equipment
  • Knife or multi-tool
  • Extra food
  • Extra clothing
  • Extra water

4. Have the correct clothing

It might be quite warm down in the valley, but when you get on a ridge, the weather can be dramatically different, cold, windy, wet. You should always carry waterproof and windproof layers with you, even if you don’t expect to use the. It’s always a good idea to carry a few extra layers in your pack anyway. Take spare gloves, and hats in your pack. There’s often someone in the party who forgot theirs!

5. Take enough food and drink

Hiking in mountains is a strenuous endeavour; make sure you have plenty of food, a good mix of carbohydrates (such as rice or pasta) and high energy food such as nuts, or Kendal Mint Cake. Again, keep in mind that you might be out for longer than you expect, so take plenty.

6. Check the weather before you go

In the UK, the Met Office has a superb web site, the mountain area forecast (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/loutdoor/mountainsafety/index.html). This site offers advice on the conditions at varying altitudes, the likelihood of difficult weather. If the conditions look too difficult for your level of expertise, don’t go. It’s not worth the risk.

7. Never walk alone

Walking alone in the hills, especially for the very inexperienced is not big, and it’s not clever. It’s true not everyone enjoys hiking, but a lot of people do, it’s a very common form of exercise or and popular hobby.

Kitchen Fire Safety

Kitchens are a natural place for fires to start: you are already working with open flames or very high heat. Take extra precautions to prevent fires.

Preventing kitchen fires

The number one cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking. When cooking anything on top of the stove, or in the oven, stay with it. For long-cooking dishes, plan activities you can do in the kitchen, such as cleaning or preparing other dishes. If “kitchen activities” don’t come to mind, consider reading, writing, chatting with family or friends, or even reading a story to the kids. All of these can keep you happily and productively occupied while keeping an eye on what is being cooked.

If you cannot or don’t want to stay in the kitchen:

  1. Check frequently on food that is cooking,
  2. Have a working smoke alarm installed where it can warn of potential fire.
  3. Keep a fire extinguisher within easy reach.

Kitchens can be very active places, especially when meals are being prepared. These basic tips can increase your safety:

  1. Wear short-sleeve, close fitting clothing when cooking. Loose clothing can more easily catch fire.
  2. Watch children closely in the kitchen. Teach them fire safety and proper handling of tools to prevent burns, cuts, or other injuries. Do this before you teach them to cook. Stay with children for every step as they are learning ot cook. Reinforce and praise their safety skills.
  3. Grease can accumulate quickly in the kitchen. Grease fires can quickly spread to the entire kitchen. Clean your cooking surfaces and counters frequently to prevent food and grease build-up. Ideally this should be done immediately after cooking, or during clean-up after each meal.
  4. Keep flammable materials, such as curtains, towels, pot holders, plastic or paper bags, away form cooking surfaces.
  5. Store all solvents and flammable cleaners well away from all heat sources. Never keep gasoline or kerosene in the house, especially not in the kitchen.
  6. While cooking, make sure pan handles are turned away from the front of the stove so that no one will accidentally bump them. Boiling water or hot grease thrown from a jostled pan can cause severe burns. Keep the area in front of the stove clear and calm while cooking.

Putting out a fire

Even with the greatest care, you may someday have to put out a kitchen fire.

First, assess the danger. If the fire has spread beyond the oven or a pan, call the fire department right away. In most locations, you can call 911 and they will transfer you to the needed service.

If the fire is small and contained, as in food flaming in a pan, these tips may help:

  1. Slide a pan lid over a grease or oil fire to smother flames. Turn off the heat. Watch carefully to make sure the fire is not spreading somewhere unexpected. Leave the lid in place until it cools. Once the fire is completely out and everything is cool, thoroughly clean everything that was involved in the fire, especially the stove top or oven. If the flame got outside of a pan, you will need to decide whether there was any damage that must be repaired before you can cook again. Caution: Never attempt to carry a flaming pan outside. Doing this increases your risk of spreading the fire and of being burned.
  2. Keep a large box of baking soda on hand. Aside from its other uses, you can pour baking soda over most small food fires to extinguish the flames.
  3. Never use water or flour to put out fires. Water added to a grease fire reacts violently, sending hot grease everywhere. This spreads the fire and increases your chance of being burned. Flour can have a similar effect. Water poured on flames can also get into electrical circuits in the stove or oven, which can complicate the situation and increase the danger.
  4. If a fire occurs in your oven, keep the door shut and turn off the heat. This will usually smother the flames without further risk.
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. There are several types of extinguishers, each designed for use with specific kinds of fire. Make sure you have the right kind; one that can put out grease-based fires most often found in kitchens. Make sure you know how to use the extinguisher. Check periodically to ensure that it is in proper working order.

5 Safety Tips on How to Deal With Fire

Many people died or get seriously injured because of fires every year. However, these can be prevented by having fire precautions and following some fire safety tips. Fire detection devices play very important roles to help prevent and control fires.

We should not take too lightly the importance of having fire precautions and fire detection system in your homes and buildings. Fire is powerful enough to cause us loss and devastation. The only way to protect our family is through proper prevention and early fire detection.

Below are the top five safety tips that you need to keep in mind in order to handle the wrath of fire effectively.

– Install a smoke detector and fire alarm. – They can detect unusual smoke earlier before you can possibly smell or feel the flames. They will warn you immediately so you can save your home and possessions, ask for help early, or escape in time. Change the smoke detector’s batteries at least once a year.

– Have fire extinguishers and fire blankets readily available. – They will help you put out small fires easily. Just make sure that your extinguishers are regularly checked and tested by the proper authority.

– Evacuate the place when needed. – If the fire is already too large to handle, you need to get out and escape. Use your escape route plans calmly.

– Learn how to manage smoke. – To prevent much smoke inhalation, leave the burning place slithering on your belling or crawling on your knees.

– Think of your life’s safety. – When you get trapped inside a room, close the door and stuff the spaces around the door to prevent smoke from entering. If there is a window, go there and ask for help. Do not ever think of jumping off the window and end up risking your life. In case you are already outside and wanted to save someone who is trapped or you want to save your things inside the burning house, do not even think of it. Let the trained personnel to handle those things. Just stay in a safe area and wait for the authority’s advice if it is already safe to reenter the building.

Fires can strike anytime and anywhere when least expected. Without fire detection device like fire alarm, even a small mistake could turn into a major disaster. Always prioritize your family’s safety. Every room should have at least one fire exit. If your room is on the second floor, install a ladder that you can drop from the window in case of fire emergency. Most importantly, you need to stay focus and do not panic so that you can think of the proper safety tips that will keep you safe in times of troubles like this.

Preventing fire from getting worse is not possible without early fire detection. Better invest in helpful and life saving things like this rather than lost all your possessions in a matter of minutes just because you underestimated the possible damages fire could bring.