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Safety First When Flying

Would you know what to do in the event of an airplane emergency?

It’s true that not every passenger pays attention to the flight attendants up front nor do we always take time to review the safety brochures or the nearest emergency exits. I admit to not doing any of the above at times; I’m either dozing off, eating, texting or talking. (My flight attendant friends would wring my neck if they read this!)

Nonetheless, there should be no excuses when it comes to safety, so use this post as a quick review before flying. Also, find out why we are asked to do certain things as passengers.

Why do we stow our carry-ons?

Passengers are required to put their carry-on items in the overhead compartment above or underneath the seat in front of them. This is to prevent anyone on board from tripping or getting injured in the event of an emergency. It’s important to keep the aisles clear.

Why do they dim the cabin lights and ask us to put up our window shade?

When flying, there’s something called “Plus three, minus eight.” This basically means the first three minutes of a flight and last eight are when an accident is likely to happen.

That’s mainly why – during take off and landing, the cabin lights, and flight attendants check to see that all window shades are raised. Contrary to what most of us want to believe, dimming the lights is not meant to create a more pleasurable sleeping experience for passengers. Instead, it allows your eyes to acclimate to the outside light (whether bright or dark) in a possible evacuation or rejected take-off.

Opening the shades allows flight attendants to survey the outside before opening the emergency exits. There could possibly be a fire or a side of the plane that’s submerged in water. Whatever the case, leaving the window shade up will create more visibility for flight attendants.

Where do you find the life vest and how do you wear it?

The life vest can be found under each passenger’s seat or in the center arm rest; otherwise, the seat itself can be used as a floatation device.

In an emergency, remove the life jacket from any packaging, put it over your head and tie or clip the straps together around your waist. Do not inflate until exiting the aircraft. To inflate, you must pull down on the toggle; however, if it does not work, blow into the mouthpiece. There is also a light and whistle attached to the vest.

What is cabin depressurization?

Airplanes are pressurized at up to 8,000 feet with the help of an air system within the cabin. It regulates airflow and temperature. However, if a cabin depressurizes, oxygen masks will automatically deploy.

If it is an actual emergency, pull the mask over your mouth and nose, tighten the straps around your head. Make sure to do this before helping others.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Aug 17, 2013