Last year 18 people would have sustained more severe burn injuries if the fires would have spread freely, without first-aid extinguishing. Individual initiative helped save EUR 85 million worth of property. These figures are based on the estimates of Emergency Services College.
Fires also constitute a threat to the environment. However, thanks to first-aid extinguishing 1,400 fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide and 60 fewer tonnes of small particles were emitted into the atmosphere compared to fully developed fires. These estimates were compiled by comparing the average emissions of fires vis-à-vis the fires which were put out by first-aid extinguishing.
– Even if the numbers are not exact, they clearly demonstrate an impact. First-aid extinguishing makes a great difference, both in environmental and human terms, says Johannes Ketola, Data Systems Designer at the Emergency Services College.
Still, there is room for improvement. Last year there were 200 building fires in Finland where nobody even attempted first-aid extinguishing, even though there were people and fire extinguishers at the site.
First-aid extinguishing is a civic skill that everyone can learn. AS1 permit first-aid extinguishing courses are organised around the country; the Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK) is responsible for their development and quality.
– Decisive action, without endangering oneself, is indispensable when fire strikes. The most important thing is to save those in danger, says Heli Hätönen, Head of Development at SPEK.
– Learning the skills needed for first-aid extinguishing is a good, practical way to ensure the safety of people and property. Even though a fire is a frightening experience, it is much easier to spring into appropriate action to extinguish it after having received training.
The benefits of first-aid extinguishing in 2018
- 20 % of building fires were put out with first-aid extinguishing
- 11 % of building fires were curbed by first-aid extinguishing
Without first-aid extinguishing, building fires would have
- Caused more severe injuries to 18 people
- Caused EUR 18 million more in financial damage
- Released 1,400 more tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
- Released 60 more tonnes of small particles into the atmosphere
- In 200 building fires no one even attempted first-aid extinguishing, even though there were people and fire extinguishers at the site
First-aid extinguishing statistics: Johannes Ketola, Data Systems Designer at the Emergency Services College, tel 029 545 3445
First-aid extinguishing training: Heli Hätönen, Head of Development at the Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK), tel 040 484 3822.