Planned Escape From Fire

 

Nobody expects a fire. But it's very important to have a plan. Family members must know what to do in the event of a fire in their home. Unless a small fire can be easily controlled, it is recommended that fighting the fire be left to firefighters and that family members escape safely from the home - just in case there is one.

Fire can happen anywhere: in your home, apartment or place of business. Most residential fires occur between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Deaths from residential fires occur in greater numbers between midnight and 4 a.m. when most people are asleep. An average of 800 fires strike residential buildings each day in the United States. More than 6,500 persons die each year from fire - more than half of them children and senior citizens. The majority of these deaths are in home fires.

In case of a fire, what you don't know can hurt you. Regardless of the cause of the fire, a home may be filled with smoke. This is a very dangerous situation. Family members may be unable to see very well. The smoke and toxic gases may cause dizziness and disorientation. In the confusion, one can easily become lost or trapped in the home. Family members must understand that their safety depends upon quickly leaving the home. It has been proven that exit drills reduce chance of panic and injury in fires and that trained and informed people have a much better chance to survive fires in their home.

 

HAVE A FIRE SAFETY AND FIRE ESCAPE PLAN
bullet Keep all smoke detectors in working order.
bullet While sleeping, keep all bedroom doors closed. It takes 10-15 minutes to burn through a door as well as keeping smoke out as opposed to 0 if the door is open
bullet Have a family meeting to discuss what to do if there is a fire.
bullet Create a floor plan
bullet Practice your plan.


FIRE ESCAPE PLAN TIPS
bullet Plan AT LEAST two exits.
bullet Keep calm.
bullet Close the door.
bullet Don't go back.
 

USE APPROVED WINDOW GATES
bullet Only use approved window gates.
bullet Do not use a padlock which will prevent your escape from a fire.
 

DECIDE ON A MEETING PLACE
bullet By deciding on a meeting place, you will know if everyone has gotten out safely.
 

SEND THE ALARM
bullet Dial 911 to report a fire.
bullet Use the local Fire Alarm Box.

 


 

WALK QUICKLY, DON'T PANIC
bullet Feel the door on your way out with the back of your hand.
bullet If the door is hot, do not open.
bullet Close door behind you to slow the spread of fire.

 

USE THE STAIRS
bullet Don't use the elevator. It may stop and trap you.
bullet Try to place one hand in contact with the wall. This may prevent you from getting lost.

 
STAY LOW AND GO
bullet If there's smoke, escape by staying very low to the ground where air is cooler.

 
IF TRAPPED
bullet Open window at top to let out heat and smoke; and at the bottom to breathe.
bullet Seal the door openings and cracks, as well as vents as best as possible to prevent smoke and fire from coming in. Using wet cloths such as sheets or clothing works best
bullet If you cannot get out, wave a sheet out the window.

 
STAY CALM
bullet If all else fails, it is possible to hang from a second story window and fall feet first.
bullet If possible, use adjacent roofs to escape and await rescue

 
DON'T GO BACK

bullet Do not go back into a fire for anything! Your life is your MOST valuable possession.
 

Remember:

  • Keep your home Fire Safe.
  • Know what to do if there is a fire.
  • Plan ahead. It can save your life.
  • Escape plans will differ for each type of building! It's up to you to plan the proper escape from your particular building.