Tips on Keeping Safe During a House Fire
House fires are a tragedy that could happen at any moment. Knowing how to stay safe during this time helps with the chances of survival for you and your loved ones. One of the biggest things to remember if a fire is to strike is timing is everything. Remember to stay calm, and focus on these key tips.
Tip #1- React
Smoke detectors/alarms are a safety feature in homes to help detect a fire if we are unable too. Your main concern if your smoke alarm goes off is to get out of the home as fast as you can. If it happens while everyone is asleep you should yell as loud as you can to wake everyone in the home up. Also remember to contact 911 right away if you are able too.
Tip #2- Exiting
Before running out of any door to safety, you should stop and pay attention to what is going on first. Fire brings smoke which is very toxic when inhaled into the body. If you notice smoke coming from under the door the fire could be closer than you think.Keep the door shut if smoke from under the door is occurring. If smoke is not noticeable yet always place the back of your hand on the door/door knob to make sure it isn't hot. If the door/knob is cool to the touch you can slowly open the door to pass through if the coast is clear to any visible fire. If a door is open and you see fire that is stopping you from leaving the room, make sure to close the door to protect yourself. (If the door has smoke coming from under it, and the door is to hot to pass through a window is the best escape option if one is accessible. Be careful at the same time whenever having to use a window to escape from a fire).
Tip #3- Smoke Inhalition
As pointed out before the inhaling of smoke is very toxic to our bodies. Smoke inhalation can cause a person to become very weak, disorientated, and can even put you in a deep unconscious sleep. Smoke always tends to rise at first so make sure to get low to the ground. Always crouch, or crawl if smoke becomes visible in the room you are in. You should also cover your mouth and nose if you must walk through a smoked filled room. If you are able place a shirt or a wet rag over the nose and mouth, but only if you have these items close by should you worry about doing that.
Tip #4- Trapped Safety
If you find yourself in a position that you are unable to get to safety don't panic.While waiting for help the first thing you should do is try to minimize the amount of smoke coming into the room. Close any doors and try to cover any cracks or vents with cloth or tape to help slow down the smoke from coming in. Your first instinct maybe to open a window if one is present, however fresh oxygen draws a fire in. Make sure to keep any windows closed if you are not able to escape from it. It may seem scary if you are on a second story floor or higher, but if your able to fit thru a window and some how jump to safety it is worth a try. If there is a ledge you could even try to dangle your body down to try and get as close to the ground as possible before letting go.
Tip #5- After Exiting the House
Once you have gotten yourself to safety the first thing you should do if you haven't already is call 911. Next thing is to do a head count of the people who were in the home. Only re-enter the home or building if it is safe. Otherwise notify the first responders right away if someone is missing. While waiting for the first responders you should check yourself and other for any injuries. If any injuries have occurred do what you can until help arrives. Lastly you should always keep your distance from the structure on fire once out to safety.
You cant always prevent fires from happening, but you can always come up with ways to try and keep your family safe and informed if a tragedy like this occurs. Always come up with two escape routes per room, and practice with the family and small children to show them where they can escape in a time of crisis. Make sure smoke detectors/alarms are always working properly, and always have fresh batteries. Show everyone in the home especially small children how to open and close any windows in the house in case of an emergency. Most importantly practice fire safety. Always let children know fire is not a toy or a game. Always pay attention while cooking, and never leave candles unattended, etc. Also always remember to stop, drop, and roll if you catch on fire at anytime.