Each year, more than 4,000 Americans die and more than 25,000 are injured in fires. To protect yourself, it is important to understand the characteristics of fire. Fire spreads quickly ; there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames. Heat and smoke can be more dangerous than the flames, inhaling super hot air can sear your lungs.poisonous gasses can make you disoriented and drowsy, instead of being awakened by a fire you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths.
Before a Fire
Install smoke alarms.
Place smoke alarms on every level of your home
Test them once a month, replace batteries once a year and replace the alarm once every ten years
Have an evacuation plan and an escape route for each room.
Practice your evacuation plan.
Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut.
Make sure security bars on windows can be opened easy from the inside.
Consider escape ladders for rooms on higher levels
Teach family members to stay low on the floor when escaping a fire
Keep storage areas clean, Do not let trash or old newspapers pile up.
Never us gasoline, or other flammable liquids indoors
Store flammable liquids in proper containers
Insulate chimneys and place spark arresters on top. Chimneys should be at least 3 feet higher than the roof, remove any branches near or over a chimney
keep a screen in front of a fireplace
Have heating units inspected and cleaned annually
Place heaters at least 3 feet away from flammable materials
Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs
Make sure outlets have covers
Do not overload outlets or extension cords
Sleep with your door closed
Install A_B_C type fire extinguishers and become familiar with how to use them properly.
During A Fire
If your clothes catch on fire
until the fire is extinguished
Check Closed doors for heat before opening
This can be done by using the back of your hand to feel the door knob, top of the door, and the crack between the door and door frame.
If you can not leave through a hot door, use a window or another door. if none are available hang a white or other light color sheet out the window to alert firefighters to your location
If the door is cool, open slowly to make sure the route is clear. If the route is blocked , shut the door and look for an alternative way.
If clear leave immediately through the door and close it behind you. Smoke and heat rise so stay low near the floor.
Close doors behind you to decrease the spread of the fire.
Once out you are out call 9-1-1 and do not reenter.
If near a burn victim or are one yourself,
make sure the scene is safe
Cool burns with water and cover
Have a plan and practice it. Have a hard copy of emergency contacts and maybe even leave some copies with neighbors and friends.
Make sure you know how to use a fire extinguisher and what types of extinguisher to use for different fires. Use them for getting out safely.
Do not try to fight the fire.
If you have time to grab your BOB on you way out.
You should keep it in an easy to get location by the door.
Chances are you will not be able to grab it and you should not try to if it puts yourself or others in more danger
- Types of Fire Extinguishers (fireextinguishersigns.com)