A home fire can be one of the scariest and most dangerous catastrophes that any family can face. An important part of surviving a house fire is preparation and being ready in case of such an emergency. Preparation includes installing fire detectors, designating a meeting place outside, installing escape ladders from 2nd floor windows, and designating multiple escape routes for different areas of the house. The last step of preparation that is often overlooked is practice. Take some time every few months to practice escaping a home fire and when the real thing occurs you will be that much more prepared and less panicked.
In the event of a fire there are some important safety tips that can help ensure your safety and the safety of your family. Most of these tips are common knowledge and were likely learned years ago in grade-school, but a quick refresher can never hurt especially when it comes to home safety.
Aside from preparation, during an actual fire it is important if possible to cover your mouth and nose with a damp rag. The majority of deaths from fire do not occur because of the heat and flames but rather because of smoke inhalation. For this reason it is also wise to stay as low as possible to the ground and crawl to safety.
When opening doors it is important to first check with the palm of your hand in the middle of the door to feel for heat so that you can know whether or not there is fire on the other side. If you feel that it is safe be sure to open the door very slowly because it is possible to create a drastic change of air pressure that would suck noxious fumes and smoke into the room. If this is the case close the door immediately and search for another avenue of escape.
Do not waste any time trying to retrieve valuables. Wasting precious time on material goods could be the difference between life and death in an emergency scenario. Likely, material wealth will be covered by homeowner’s insurance while your life and the lives of your family will not be retrievable.Should you find yourself trapped in a room with no escape go to a window if possible and wave a bright cloth to get attention from the firefighters that are likely to arrive on the scene soon. Always remember to stay low to avoid excessive smoke inhalation.
Bear in mind these tips and you and your family are more likely to survive a home fire. Remember that preparation is the most important part of home fire and practicing your escape plan will make the emergency seem more manageable and will incite less panic allowing for calmer and more thoughtful decisions.