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Emergency grab bags

In a fire emergency, time is of the essence, leaving little opportunity to gather belongings. Being prepared and having a plan can have a major impact on your safety. An essential tool for fire safety is an emergency grab bag. We often receive enquiries during our fire safety training asking what emergency grab bags are and what they should contain. Therefore, we have compiled this comprehensive article for individuals in roles such as fire wardens and marshals explaining more about emergency grab bags within the context of fire safety. We will discuss what emergency grab bags are, what they should contain and will provide guidance on their assembly.

Emergency preparedness checklist image with some of its contents like a torch.

Emergency grab bags: What are they?

Emergency grab bags are portable collections of pre-packed essential items and supplies designed to assist during fire emergencies and evacuations. Ideally, these bags should be small, easy to carry, and stored in an accessible place, ready to grab and go.

Emergency grab bags: What should they contain?

The contents of an emergency grab bag can vary, some common items included in them are:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

  • Smoke masks or respirators to prevent smoke inhalation.
  • Fire-resistant gloves to protect hands and handle hot objects.

Communication devices:

  • Mobile phone and charger, along with a backup power bank.
  • Whistle to alert others of your presence if trapped or in need of assistance.

Fire emergency essentials:

  • Flashlight and spare batteries to navigate in darkness or smoke.
  • Fire-resistant blanket to shield yourself from flames or wrap around children during evacuation.
  • Small tool kit with a wrench, pliers, and a multipurpose knife.

First aid kit:

  • Bandages, antiseptic ointment and burn gel to treat minor injuries.

Food and drink:

  • Non-perishable food items with a long shelf life.
  • Bottled water for hydration.

Contents of a first aid kit.

Emergency grab bag: How to prepare them

Formal training is not necessarily required to prepare an emergency grab bag, but some basic knowledge is beneficial.

  1. Choose a durable, easy-to-carry bag or backpack.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the bag’s contents and their purposes. Consider obtaining basic first aid skills if your bag includes a first aid kit.
  3. Regularly review and update the bag’s contents to reflect any new needs.
  4. Educate all relevant individuals on the location of the grab bag and its contents.

By having an emergency grab bag tailored specifically for fire-related emergencies, you can increase your chances of survival and minimise your risks. Remember, the contents of your grab bag may vary based on personal preferences and the type of fire risks you may encounter. It is advisable to regularly review and update its contents to ensure preparedness. We hope this guide has equipped you with the necessary knowledge to prepare your emergency grab bag for fire safety.

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  • Fire Safety