Get out and Stay out!


Every year, Hundreds of people die in fires in the home. What's even more unfortunate is to hear the death of a person who went back into the fire to retrieve someone or something. Here are some important facts and information about the seriousness of "Get out, and Stay Out"

  • In a survey done by the National Fire Protection Association, Fewer than half of Americans knew they should leave the house at the first sound of the smoke alarm. Many people are surprised to learn that the smoke will cause sleepiness, especially at night.
  • In most related deaths, death was not a result of burns from a fire, but rather asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation.
  • It is imperative that all people should know what to do in case of a fire, and to practice it often.


  • In 2007, a Cedar Grove woman died as a result of going back into a building for shoes. Although we may never know why she decided to go back for what appeared to be such insignificant items, we can only stress the importance of "Get out and Stay Out".
  • The night she died was a bitter cold night, so we can possibly assume she thought that she was going to be stranded outside for a long time and needed something warm to wear.
  • Never assume that you will be stranded. In cases like that, EMS will keep any victim of a fire safe from the elements. Incident Command can also call in other resources for those victims, which can include food, water, shelter and clothing.
  • Conditions in her house may not have been dangerous during her trip out so she may have thought that the conditions she experienced getting out were the same and it would be safe going back in.
  • Conditions in fires can go from OK, to bad, to worse, to deadly in minutes. Dangerous smoke, poisonous gasses and extreme heat can build up VERY quickly, and what was a safe trip out of a building is now very deadly to go back in.
  • With this fact at hand, getting out as soon as you hear an alarm is vital.
  • Never go back in for identification, paperwork, or valuable items.
  • Any important or valuable items can be retrieved by firefighters in Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) when the situation is deemed safe and under control
  • All items, no matter what the worth, is replaceable and not worth the cost of human life

  • The hardest thing for any person is to stand outside of a burning building, knowing their loved one, whether be human or animal, is stuck inside. The helpless feeling may just be too much for people to handle. In 2006, a West Caldwell man was seriously injured trying to rescue his wife trapped inside their burning home. The woman died. Here are some important reasons why it is important to stay outside, no matter what the reason is to go back in:
  • Despite what may be fact, someone who may be trapped may actually have escaped or been rescued.
  • If you suspect that someone is trapped inside a building, notify the fire department, and a search will immediately be conducted in and around the building.
  • Pets, if they are not confined, have a natural instinct to get to safety in case of a fire. if pets are confined, notify the fire department where the pet is, and a crew will rescue the animal just like any other human.
  • Although no one ever wants to think of this scenario, but in some cases, the person may already have perished, and any untrained rescue attempters will put their lives in jeopardy for life that doesn't exist.

    • Keep your home Fire Safe.
    • 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.