Special Supplement: Safety 360

Jakarta Globe Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guard Against a Daily Danger F
ire’s destructive force is never far away. According to the Jakarta Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Management Department there were 4,164 fire incidents recorded in the five years from 2005. Of these, 54 percent were caused by short circuits and 10 percent by gas cookers. Lights and cigarettes were the cause of 6 percent of fires, with a mix of other causes making up the balance. Breaking down the data by location reveals that 44 percent of fires were in houses, while 26 percent were in public or industrial facilities and buildings. Almost 8 percent of fires were linked to vehicles. Over the period, hundreds of people have been killed, many hundreds more injured, and the estimated loss is equivalent to more than $1 billion. When Fire Strikes Many people still do not know how to deal, react or escape safely in the event of an uncontrolled and hazardous fire. Fire starts with a chemical reaction — oxygen, combustible fuel (such as wood or gasoline) and energy (or heat, such as from a light or a match). Heat brings the fuel to its ignition temperature and a fire ignites as if out of nowhere (it is perhaps no surprise that many cultures have in the past and still do regard fire as a magical force). The fact that fire is selfperpetuating makes it all the more hazardous. With enough oxygen and a fuel source fire will spread, and it can do so quickly. Common sense can help prevent fire. For instance, don’t leave stoves, ovens, toasters, clothing irons, barbecues and candles unattended. Even a hot appliance can ignite a fire that quickly becomes out of control. Short circuits are another common cause of fire in the home and at the office. Faulty electrical outlets and old wiring are often to blame. As a precaution, you should routinely check appliances and wiring and all damaged and old wires should be replaced. If any appliance or a light switch causes an electrical shock, overheats, shorts out or gives off smoke or sparks it should be replaced immediately. Also, keep electrical appliances well away from water. Where There’s Smoke … The number one cause of injury and death related to fires is smoke inhalation rather than burns. Smoke is the product emitted (consisting of tiny solid, liquid and gas particles) when a combustible material is on fire and it asphyxiates the body. Symptoms of smoke inhalation include coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness and a headache. Smoke is suspended in the gases that compose the air around us, and so it naturally rises and spreads, quickly filling rooms, stairwells and hallways. Smoke hinders visibility and breathing, and it will make extinguishing and escaping a fire more difficult, but it is also what often alerts people to the presence of a fire. Manual fire detection can be as simple as spotting a fire and yelling to warn others around you. Most buildings also have a manual fire alarm, usually located near the fire escape or exit. It can be activated to alarm others in the building. Smoke detectors are perhaps the most reliable, effective and inexpensive safety device you can have installed in your home or office. They save thousands of lives every year. Smoke detectors, typically, set off an audible alarm when smoke is detected. There are two types of smoke detectors that are commonly used. A photoelectric or optical beam detector senses the lack of light or detects flames and triggers an alarm. An ionization detector contains ions that develop a steady electrical current. Smoke particles entering the chamber disrupt the current and trigger the detector’s alarm. Some detectors use both detection methods to increase sensitivity. Get Out and Stay Out A fire alarm will make you aware that

From 2005 to 2010, no less than 4,164 fires were reported in Jakarta, with hundreds of people losing their lives and total damage estimated at over $1 billion. Over half of the reported fires, 54 percent, were caused by short circuits. Antara Photos

something is wrong, but it’s up to you to react in the most appropriate way. Basic protocol for when a building is on fire is to get out and stay out. Every home and office should have an escape plan and a safe emergency meeting point. You, your family or your office should run a fire drill (a practice run) at least twice a year. You should immediately make others in the building aware of a fire, set off a central alarm system if there is one, and then make your way out of the building. Do not use escalators during a fire, use the stairs. As soon as possible, you should call emergency services. Fire is unpredictable and it can move quickly or cause an explosion, and your best and safest option will always be to simply get out and stay out of a building that is on fire at the first opportunity. If you can see smoke you should stay low to the ground and make your way to the exit. If you are prepared with an escape plan, finding your way out of the building will be a calmer and quicker endeavor. If you are trapped in a room, close the door and using something like a towel or rag block any gaps to prevent more smoke entering the room. You need to alert someone that you are trapped: if possible call emergency services. Only if there is no other solution, open or break a window and attract attention to yourself using whatever method possible. Fire safety means taking precautions to prevent a fire, and also being prepared to react and cope in the event of a fire. Awareness of even the most basic rules of fire safety measures — don’t leave an open flame unattended; replace faulty wires; get out and stay out — could save your life.

Stay Alert, Risks Are All Around
In the first week of October this year, Paimin Napitupulu, the head of the Jakarta Fire and Disaster Management Department, said there had been more than 730 major fires in Jakarta this year, up from in 2010, and likely caused by the unusually long dry season. Fires have claimed at least 12 lives this year, injured 61 people and left countless more homeless, Paimin said, adding that almost six in every 10 fires were caused by an electrical short circuit. In the week after Paimin’s announcement, a slew of fire-related incidents hit Jakarta, ranging from house fires to exploding buses. Here is how the Jakarta Globe reported the events: Oct.12: TransJakarta Bus Burns A TransJakarta bus was gutted by fire in Jatinegara district, East Jakarta, along Corridor V of the busway network. The rear of the bus was damaged, as was the roof of the bus shelter. No injuries were reported. It was the third incident in six months. On Aug. 1, a bus on Corridor III caught fire at the Grogol intersection in West Jakarta. On May 24, an articulated bus on Corridor V was gutted, also in the Jatinegara area. Oct. 14: Vehicles Torched in Eviction Row A bus and three motorcycles were burned during a violent land dispute in West Jakarta. Emergency fire teams and police were called to extinguish the blaze and restore order. Oct. 20: Explosion Injures Bus Driver A TransJakarta bus exploded in the Pinang Ranti shelter in East Jakarta. The driver, Yusuf, was badly injured and both of his legs were broken. Two refueling station attendants were also injured. The bus was filling up with gas at the TransJakarta fuel station when a hissing noise was heard. A TransJakarta spokeswoman said the bus was refueling and the noise came from below the bus. The hissing sound was followed by a loud explosion. Oct.21: Policeman Loses House in Fire A mid-ranking police officer lost what he described as a “luxury house” and all of its contents, including three cars and two motorcycles, in a fire in Pasar Rebo, East Jakarta. The fire appeared to have started after fuel leaked from the car and ignited. The fire soon engulfed his home, and the family escaped but could not save their belongings. Eighteen fire engines took an hour to extinguish the blaze. Oct.27: Blaze Leaves 1,500 Homeless Hundreds of families in Bendungan Hilir, Central Jakarta, watched helplessly as their homes turned to ashes in a massive blaze that struck the dense residential area. It took 28 fire trucks about two hours to extinguish the blaze, which engulfed more than 70 buildings. About 1,500 people were left homeless. Reports from the scene described panic as uninsured residents frantically tried to save their belongings. One resident, Rita, told reporters that she had seen three major fires in the 20 years she had lived in the neighborhood. On the same day, at least two more fires broke out in Central and North Jakarta.

730 44%
major fires in Jakarta in first 10 months of 2011

of fires in Jakarta from 2005-2010 were in the home


Special Supplement: Safety 360

Jakarta Globe Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Safeguarding Starts at Home S
ecurity means different things to different people and runs the spectrum from installing good locks in order to stop thieves to protecting yourself and your family from terrorist attacks. They always make headline news, but thankfully terrorist attacks remain relatively rare, and even in Indonesia — where the existence of terror cells with the means to kill innocent people has been proven a number of times — the intrusion of metal-detecting guards at the entrance to malls and businesses is the closest many of us get to safeguarding against such crimes. But in most people’s minds “security” conjures up the sense of being free from harm from everyday criminals: thieves, robbers and the like. Crime can happen in stores, on streets and in vehicles, but where crimes such as robberies invade our privacy the most is at home. Being a victim of a crime doesn’t necessarily mean that you were specifically targeted. Random crime happens, and bad things sometimes happen to good people. Cars are stolen, wallets are snatched and homes are broken into. Some things are beyond your control, but you do influence what happens to you, and you can take on more responsibility for your own security. At home, whether you live in a house or an apartment, ensure that the security staff knows not to let anyone into your house or apartment without your consent. Ask that they do not give out information regarding your usual schedule, since the information can be used by people with ill intentions to determine when your home might be most vulnerable. Basic security measures include making sure locks on doors and windows are strong and that you keep them locked. Consider using deadbolts as another level of security. Doors and windows have weak spots — hinges, worn frames or bodies —


people charged with an offense per 100,000 people in Jakarta in 2010

crimes reported to the police in Jakarta in 2010

that can be exploited, so make sure to fix or replace broken doors or windows. No matter how sneaky you think you are to hide a set of keys outside the home, it is not a good idea. Leave an extra key with a trusted neighbor or colleague. Get to know your neighbors. Develop a relationship and earn their trust so that you have an extra pair of eyes or someone who will respond if something is amiss. Outdoor sensor lights and garden lighting are a great and reasonably cheap and easy way to deter unwelcome visitors at home. Do not leave expensive or removable items outside where they can be seen and could tempt people. The upper levels of a home are often overlooked because it seems unlikely that someone will break in above the ground floor, but the most determined deviants will take advantage of any opportunity they can find. Keep upstairs windows locked and make sure there are no trees or ladders around the house that might allow easy access to higher levels of the house. Aside from taking such practical methods to secure your home, you might consider investing in a home security and alarm system, but be sure to use it if you do. No matter the level of security you implement at home, there is still the possibility that you or your home will fall victim to crime. For this reason, it is important to lock priceless items and documents in a safety box, preferably one that is fireproof, and to maintain and update insurance policies.

Policemen fish out a car from the fountain in the middle of the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Jakarta in May. They suspect the driver fell asleep or his brakes failed. AFP Photo

Here’s How to Stay Safe on the Road
It is common practice in Jakarta for residents to employ a personal driver for convenience. Having a driver, though, means taking on additional responsibility to ensure that you, your driver and your family and friends are safe at all times. A safe trip for all means having a road-worthy car that is maintained and serviced regularly. It means that your driver is qualified and trustworthy. Even if you are not the one driving, it is your responsibility to ensure the vehicle is well kept and well equipped. This means having a spare tire, a medical kit and maps on board, as well as emergency phone numbers on hand. You might also consider having impact-resistant security film and tinted windows applied to your car. Know Your Driver When it comes to hiring a driver, you should take the same precautions as you would when filing any position. Make sure your driver is qualified and licensed to drive the vehicle he will be assigned to. Check all documents (driver’s license, local ID card and educational certificates) and references and ensure that he is who he says he is, lives where he says and can fulfill the job requirements. Ensure that your driver knows the road network in the city where you live and is familiar with both main and alternative routes for all locations that you regularly visit. Ideally, have your driver note key locations and safe havens along these routes. If you are a foreigner with limited local language skills, it is recommended that you employ a driver who speaks English so as to avoid communication problems. Your driver should also be equipped with a cellphone for ease of communication with you. If you maintain an environment of open communication, your driver will be more comfortable with you and more likely to report personal health issues, vehicle damage or problems.

A health check is good idea, just to be on the safe side. A car is a potentially dangerous object, so it is important that the person behind the wheel is sensible, alert and aware of his or her surroundings. This means not only your driver, but also you or anyone else who takes the wheel. Make sure that your driver obeys the rules of the road and does not encourage confrontation through erratic or overly aggressive driving. A good driver will leave space between your car and other vehicles to allow for braking distances in an emergency and will adjust speed based on road conditions. For the most part, day-to-day travel is safe, but there is always a risk of becoming the victim of a crime, so pay attention to your surroundings, particularly in slow moving or static traffic. You should also keep doors locked at all times. Maintain Your Vehicle Here is a daily checklist to ensure that your vehicle is well kept: • Fuel, oil, radiator fluid, washer wiper fluid: Never allow these to fall too far below the halfway mark. • Have your tires checked for wear or damage. • Have the tire pressures checked, including the spare. • Check lights (including brake lights, indicators and hazard warning). • In addition to equipment provided by the manufacturer (such as wheel brace and jack), consider also equipping your vehicle with the following: Log book for mileage, fuel, servicing, damage and repair records; map and directory of the city where you live; basic vehicle tool kit; first-aid kit suitable for car travel; reflective safety triangle; tow rope; fire extinguisher (dry chemical type); flashlight (with spare batteries); jumper cables; cellphone charger (cigarette lighter socket type); umbrella .

Making the city safer: Jakarta Police show off the guns seized from a gang of robbers in East Jakarta in February last year. AFP Photo


Special Supplement: Safety 360

Jakarta Globe Tuesday, November 15, 2011

construction worker with a deep cut. A fallen motorcyclist with a concussion. A colleague with a third-degree burn. A family member having a heart attack. Life is unpredictable. Anything can go wrong, at any time — and to anyone. Do you know how to help? Are those around you equipped with the knowledge or skills to help? It’s important to take precautions to avoid accidents and disaster. But we can also prepare ourselves with knowledge and skills that will help reduce injury or save a person’s life. First aid is immediate care given before trained medical help arrives. We have all given first aid for minor illness or injuries, but we can all expand our skills to include more severe emergencies. There are first-aid courses available, both locally and online, that can help prepare us if we encounter emergency situations. In emergency situations, it’s recommended that caregivers follow three key steps: Check, Call, Care. First, assess the scene and check for hazards. Be sure that you are not in danger before you administer help. Check how many people are injured and whether there are bystanders who can help. Next, call emergency services. If there are others around, instruct someone else to call for help while you assess the victim. Talk to the person to see if they are responsive. If not, check their airway by tilting the head back, then look and listen for breathing by turning your cheek to the person’s nose and mouth as you watch the chest for rising and falling. Check for a pulse at the person’s neck. In basic first aid, these are referred to as the ABCs. Care depends on the type and the

First Aid Can Be a Life-Saver A

If you were part of a common scene like this on Jakarta’s dangerous roads, would you know what to do to help the injured?

extent of the injury as well as the skills, knowledge and confidence of the person administering aid. After going through the motions listed above, if the patient is not breathing but has a pulse, give two rescue breaths. Do this by pinching the person’s nose closed and then breathing into the person’s mouth twice for about a second each. Watch the person’s chest to see if it rises. After two breaths, stop to check for breathing again. If there is none, continue to give artificial respiration until the person begins breathing or help arrives. If the unresponsive person has no pulse, give two rescue breaths and continue by giving CPR. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation


among causes of death in under 21-year-olds worldwide is accidental injury


of Indonesians 15 and above have had a traffic accident, the WHO estimates

manually circulates blood through the body. To perform CPR, place the heel of your hands on the patient’s chest and press down 30 times to simulate a quick heartbeat and then give two rescue breaths and re-check the person’s pulse. Repeat until help arrives. Two other emergencies you can prepare for by recognizing their signs are heart attacks and strokes. Common signs of a heart attack include chest discomfort or pain and tightness, shortness of breath, sweating and nausea. If this is the case, immediately call an ambulance. While waiting, or on the way to the hospital, tend to the patient by helping them into a relaxed sitting position, with the legs up and bent at the knees to ease strain on the heart. It’s also a good idea to loosen tight clothing around the neck and waist. Administer CPR if the patient stops breathing. An easy way to remember symptoms of a stroke, which include sudden weakness in the face, arms, confusion and trouble speaking, is “FAST.” Face (ask the person to smile. If half the face droops, act quickly); Arms (ask the person to lift his or her arms. If one droops, that is a sign); Speech (have the person repeat a sentence. Slurred words are a symptom); Time (if you observe any of these signs, call emergency services immediately). Take the same approach as if someone is having a heart attack. Do not give a suspected stroke victim food or drink because strokes affect the ability to swallow and can cause the patient to choke. Being equipped with even some basic knowledge means you can help yourself and others and it can increase your capacity to cope and act rationally when faced with a medical emergency.

Shock and Concussion Need Special Attention
The word shock is used differently by the general public and the medical community. Generally, when people talk about shock they are referring to a psychological and emotional reaction to a traumatic event. In medical terms, shock is a lifethreatening medical condition where blood flow is hindered, body tissue doesn’t receive enough oxygen or nutrients and there can be organ failure. Physical shock, otherwise known as circulatory shock, can lead to whole body failure, and death. Physical Shock There are different types of shock: cardiogenic shock, caused by a weakened heart and decreased ability to pump blood around the body; hypovolemic shock, usually experienced after rapid blood loss; anaphylactic shock, a severe allergic reaction; septic shock, caused by an infection; and neurogenic shock, caused by damage to the nervous system, usually experienced after an injury to the spinal cord. There are a few keys symptoms to watch for: rapid pulse, pale skin, sweating, weakness, giddiness, nausea, thirst, rapid and shallow breathing. Medical care is needed immediately to treat circulatory shock, but first aid can be administered before help arrives. You then need to implement the standard ABC procedure — check airways, breathing and circulation. If necessary, begin CPR. If the patient is seriously injured but conscious and breathing, do not let them move, eat, drink or smoke. Make sure to reassure the casualty. If the patient can be moved without causing them pain, place them in the shock position — on their back with their legs elevated. Do not elevate the head. If the person vomits, turn the head to one side so they do not choke. If you suspect there is a spinal injury, roll the person’s head, neck and back into line. Psychological Shock Psychological shock, or acute stress response, occurs after an emotionally or physically distressing incident and affects the state of mind. During a medical emergency, though there may be people suffering from physical injuries, it’s likely that most people at the scene will be suffering from shock. Psychological shock can also trigger physical symptoms, such as palpitations, nausea and dizziness. Someone suffering from mild shock might feel unbalanced on their feet and stunned for a while, but should eventually return to normal. The best way to treat shock in this case is to reassure the patient, have them lay down or sit down putting their head between their legs, to allow the blood and oxygen to flow more easily through the body. Concussion Aside from cuts and bruises, one of the more common injuries someone might sustain during an accident or emergency is a concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can affect a person’s level of alertness or consciousness. It temporarily interferes with the way the brain works, affecting memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, coordination and balance, and sleep patterns. While recovering from a concussion, the patient may be withdrawn, or have a hard time concentrating. Symptoms of a concussion can range from mild to severe. They can include being drowsy or having an altered level of consciousness. The patient may be confused, have a headache and have some memory loss. It is also common for someone suffering from a concussion to feel nauseous.

Brain injuries and the temporary instability of shock are common after accidents.

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