A fire can engulf
a structure in a matter of minutes. Understanding the basic characteristics
of fire and learning the proper safety practices can be the key
to surviving a house or building fire.
Check them once a month and change the batteries at least once a
practice an escape plan. Make sure all family members know what
to do in a fire.
- Draw a floor
plan with at least two ways of escaping every room. Choose a safe
meeting place outside the house.
alerting other household members. It is a good idea to keep a
bell and a flashlight in each bedroom for this purpose.
evacuating the building blindfolded. In a real fire situation,
the amount of smoke generated by a fire will most likely make
it impossible to see.
staying low to the ground when escaping.
- Feel all
doors before opening them. If the door is hot, get out another
- Learn to
stop, drop to the ground, and roll if clothes catch fire.
numbers near telephones.
However, be aware that if a fire threatens your home, you should
not place the call to your emergency services from inside the home.
It is better to get out first and place the call from somewhere
ladders at hardware stores and practice using them.
type fire extinguishers in the home and teach family members how
to use them.
Do not store
combustible materials in closed areas or near a heat source.
Keep the stove area clean and clear of combustibles such as bags,
boxes, and other appliances. If a fire starts, put a lid over the
burning pan or use a fire extinguisher. Be careful. Moving the pan
can cause the fire to spread. Never pour water on grease fires.
- Replace wiring
if frayed or cracked.
- Make sure
wiring is not under rugs, over nails, or in high traffic areas.
Do not overload outlets or extension cords.
- Outlets should
have cover plates and no exposed wiring.
- Only purchase
appliances and electrical devices that have a label indicating
that they have been inspected by a testing laboratory such as
Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).
local fire department or American
Red Cross chapter for more information on fire safety.
Get out as quickly
and as safely as possible.
Use the stairs
stay low to the ground.
If possible, cover mouth with a cloth to avoid inhaling smoke and
in each room after escaping to delay the spread of the fire.
If in a room
with a closed door.
- If smoke
is pouring in around the bottom of the door or it feels hot, keep
the door closed.
- Open a window
to escape or for fresh air while awaiting rescue.
- If there
is no smoke at the bottom or top and the door is not hot, then
open the door slowly.
- If there
is too much smoke or fire in the hall, slam the door shut.
Call the fire
department from a location outside the house.
Give first aid
Seriously injured or burned victims should be transported to professional
medical help immediately.
Stay out of
Return home only when local fire authorities say it is safe.
Look for structural
that has been exposed to heat, smoke, or soot.
Don't discard damaged goods until after an inventory has been taken.
Save receipts for money relating to fire loss.
Heating devices such as portable heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces
demand safe operation. Use portable heaters in well-ventilated rooms
only. Refuel kerosene heaters outdoors only. Have chimneys and wood
stoves cleaned annually. Buy only approved heaters and follow the
Smoke detectors more than double the chance of surviving a fire.
Smoke detectors sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustion
gases in the air. They can detect both smoldering and burning fires.
At least one smoke detector should be installed on every level of
a structure. Test the smoke detectors each month and replace the
batteries at least once a year. Purchase smoke detectors labeled
by the Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).