Steps of CPR: Assess Scene Safety
Is the scene safe? While this image may be slightly dramatic it helps illustrate a scene that is not safe. When approaching any situation, you must assess scene safety before all else! You cannot put yourself in danger to help someone else.
Sometimes dangers are more obvious than other times. For example, a car accident in the middle of the highway is going to be hard to interpret as a safe scene. A fire, smoke, and large machinery are other potential dangers that will be pretty obvious.
But other times a scene may seem safe and, if you are not on high alert, you won't realize you're putting yourself in danger. There may be broken glass or sharp objects that go unseen. Approaching water may seem safe enough, but if there are electrical wires down in that water it can be deadly. Lastly, always be aware of the people around you. There could be a violent bystander that you don't notice until it's too late.
Assessing scene safety is extremely important and often gets overlooked. If you get hurt, how can you help anyone? If you are approaching a scene and it does not feel safe, call 911 first! Just because a scene is safe at first does not mean it will remain safe; continuously reassess the situation. If it becomes unsafe after starting to help, leave and get yourself to safety. Always be alert!