8 Tips on How to Survive a House Fire

Structure Fire

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House fires are devastating, they kill and destroy all that you hold dear.

Today’s post shows some simple tips to learn and do to help prevent and react to fires.

Things to Know:

  • Where to find, and how to activate, the fire alarm
  • Learn at least two routes out of every room
  • Where to find
  • How to use a fire extinguisher
  • Where you will meet and count heads after you get out
  • Where the nearest phone (other than your own) is

Things to Do:

  • Prevent:  do not overload electrical outlets; test the fire extinguisher; test smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries yearly (memory jogger:  change when setting clocks to Standard time); make sure windows will open (you’d be surprised how many are painted, swollen or even nailed shut); check and repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections; keep chimneys clean.
  • React:  call the emergency fire department number (usually 911), warn others and get out.
  • If the fire is small enough, try to put it out.  Use a fire extinguisher if you have one and have practiced its proper use.  Otherwise, use water unless it’s an oil or grease fire; in that event, try to smother it with baking soda or the lid of a pan.
  • Feel any interior door with your hand before opening it.  If it is hot to the touch, use another route – such as the lowest window in the room.  If there is no other route available, be as low as and as far from the door as you can when you open it.
  • Stay as low as possible and be ready to crawl if necessary.  Since both smoke and heat rise, your best chance to live is by staying under both.
  • If your clothes catch fire, remember what you learned in grade school fire drills:  stop, drop and roll.
  • Never use an elevator in a burning structure, even if you think the fire is well away from the elevator.  First, you can’t be sure.  Second, while stairs take more time and effort, they can’t become stuck between floors because the fire knocked out power.
  • Once outside, go to your pre-arranged meeting place and count heads.

Never go back inside a burning structure. You’ve already beaten the odds, don’t tempt fate!

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