Home or building fires occur in the United States every year, which is why you need to learn some fire survival tips. People die from these fires because they panic or don’t know what to do in the event of a fire.
Fire Survival Tips: Taking The Heat Head On
Some of the most common causes of home or building fires come from cooking, smoking cigarettes or pipes, short circuits of appliances, and children playing with fire. Some are from natural causes like lightning and forest fires. What comes as a shock is that these fires could have been prevented in the first place.
Whatever the case may be, it is a must to know how a fire starts and how to prevent it. Should it happen in your lifetime, you must know how to survive it. Here are a few fire survival tips that might get you out alive.
Before A Fire
1. Make The Necessary Preparations
Smoke detectors, smoke alarms, and fire extinguishers are just a few items as the first line of defense at the onset of a fire. Make sure you have these items installed and placed at strategic places in your house or building.
Place an escape ladder under a bed for rooms on higher floors. A survival kit with a fire blanket included will help you a lot.
2. Identify Exit Points
Familiarizing yourself with multiple exit points will increase your awareness during a fire.
Your main exit route should be the shortest one from your room or office to the exit. You must have alternate exit points in case the main exit is blocked or on fire.
3. Check For Fire Hazards
Have a safety routine, especially before bedtime. Most of the fires happen at night. Here are a few things you should do:
- Unplug and switch off electrical appliances that are not supposed to stay on.
- Never smoke in bed and make sure no cigarettes or pipes are still burning when you empty out the ashtray.
- Portable heaters should be switched off.
- Close all the doors to every room.
- Don’t leave a candle lit overnight.
During The Fire
1. Small Fires
If it is a small fire you can use a pot, a dampened blanket or towel or other non-flammable items to cover the flame to put it out. Water should only be used for non-electrical fires. Of course, a fire extinguisher is always the first option.
2. Huge Fires
Alert others and head for the nearest exit. Immediately call the fire department. If the exit is blocked by fire, try to access a window to get out. If you’re on the second floor or higher, first drop cushions or a mattress to break your fall. You can also use sheets tied together to rappel yourself down.
3. Don’t Just Open Doors
Feel the knob, hinges, or door itself with the back of your hand. If it’s warm don’t open it. If not, open very slowly and stay behind the door. The fire might be right on the other side. Keeping the doors closed will also delay the spreading of the fire.
4. Block The Gaps
Block the gaps in doors with a wet towel or sheets to prevent the smoke from spreading into the room. Minimize smoke inhalation by covering your face with a wet piece of cloth. Smoke inhalation causes you to be disoriented and if you inhale too much you can pass out.
5. Crawl Your Way Out
Hot air rises to the top while cool and clear air stays at the bottom. If a room or hallway is filled with smoke, drop to the floor stay low and crawl your way out. The air is usually clear at the bottom. Cover your nose and mouth with a piece of cloth, a damp one if possible.
6. Stop, Drop And Roll
If your clothes catch fire, don’t run! It will only make it worse. Instead, stop, drop and roll to put it out. By doing this you take away the oxygen that fuels the fire.
7. Leave Everything Else Behind
Don’t try to save your possessions or any valuables. A fire might engulf your home in just a few minutes and you might be trapped or die because you took too long to get out.
8. Once You're Out, Stay Out!
Once you are able to exit the house or the building move farther away from the fire. Account for family and friends. Alert firemen if someone is still missing. Don’t try to go back in. Let the professionals do what they were trained to do.
Watch this house fire survival tips you must know posted by ABC News:
If ever you do survive a fire, the emotional, psychological trauma may be overwhelming but the good news is you made it out alive. Some aren’t that blessed. If your property and possessions are insured then your insurance company can take care of the rest.
Did I miss any fire survival tips? Please add them in the comments below if you have any.
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Editor's Note: This was first published on April 4, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.