Surviving a Fire in Your Home
Here are a few important steps to help you survive a fire in your home.
It's 3 a.m. and your smoke alarm sounds. What should you do?
Don't waste valuable time getting dressed. Before leaving your room, feel the door for heat. If the door is hot, don't open it. Leave by your alternate exit. If you can't leave the room, take precautions to prevent smoke from entering the room. Place a towel or other materials at the base of all doors. Seal other openings, such as air registers as well. Then go to a window and call for help.
If the door is cool to the touch, open it carefully and be prepared to close it again if you encounter smoke. At this point you should institute your fire escape plan. If you can leave, but encounter some smoke, stay low and crawl on your hands and knees to the nearest exit. Remember, smoke and toxic gases rise. It is easier to see and breathe if you are close to the floor.
Once you are out, go directly to your meeting place and then call the fire department from a neighbor's house. Never re-enter a burning building.
Stop, Drop and Roll
Everyone must know what to do if their clothing catches fire. The best way to smother flames is to stop, drop and roll. Your reaction must be immediate. Never try to run because the flames will become more intense.
You must stop and immediately drop to the floor, and roll over and over to smother the flames. This may be difficult to do if you have some physical limitations, but is is crucial that you manage to lower yourself to the ground as quickly as possible. If you can't lower yourself to the ground, then a large towel or blanket can be used to smother the flames on your clothing.
If someone else's clothing is on fire, get them on the floor and smother the flames with a coat, blanket or rug.