If you’re at home or in another building on fire, then you need to know some of the basics to getting out safely and unharmed. This could happen to just about anyone, and unfortunately many do not know how to safely evacuate.
No matter what, you should call 911 to alert the authorities and they can help if it gets out of hand.
First, you need to think like a fire. Knowing how fire acts will help you make smarter choices when trying to avoid it. There are three things that start a fire: a heat source, oxygen, and a fuel source. Once a fire starts, it will continue to burn and spread as long as it has fuel or oxygen.
It doesn’t take long for temperatures to get hot enough to make items combust- making the situation even more dangerous. You realistically only have a few minutes to work with.
When it comes to the possibility of a fire, its best to prepare yourself before you run into the issue. Some fires will be smaller and only require a fire extinguisher. Be smart about smoking outdoors and not leaving your stove unattended.
However, there are cases where fires can start quickly and get to a level that is out of your control. So you also need to be prepared for this possibility. Those who are better able should be assigned the role of helping the elderly, the young, and pets out of the building in the case of a fire. Also, make sure everyone is aware of alternate escape routes. It would not be a bad idea to act out scenarios with your kids to get them better prepared.
Both people and the fire will be competing for the same thing- oxygen. When you’re in this situation, getting out as soon as possible is vital because with the lower levels of oxygen, it gets harder to people to think straight and easier for them to get disoriented or hurt. You also have to worry about the smoke that is created that could further choke you.
Luckily, the gasses rise. So, if you can get down, you have a better chance of making it out ok. Crawl to your exit if you need to. Before walking/crawling out of a room that the door is closed, check the handle to see of it is hot with the back of your hand. This will indicate if there is fire on the other side of the door and possibly how close it is.
After all of this once you and your family are out safely, do not go back in! The biggest concerns are your family and your pets if you are able to get them out, too. If someone is still inside, you need to let the firefighters go in to find them; you will be no good to them if you pass out from smoke inhalation.
Because you thought ahead and called 911 to have the firefighters come, there should be someone there who can give you medical attention as well. Make sure to look out for signs of smoke inhalation and dehydration.