All About Fires
House fires are dangerous and can become life-threatening in just two minutes. It will only take 30 seconds for a small candle flame to engulf the window curtain and then create a thick black smoke that will fill your house. The smoke and gases are more deadly than the fire itself, so you must take extra precaution when you smell smoke.
Make sure you plan and create a fire escape plan and practice it with your family. Check your smoke alarms monthly to make sure the batteries are still working; working fire alarms increase your chance of survival.
If you do experience a fire, take these precautions:
- Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisons gases collect first along the ceiling.
- Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
- If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
- If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 911 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is.
- If the pets are inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
- If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call 911 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
- If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll. If this is not possible, smother the flames with a blanket or towel. Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth.
Make sure you take precautions when you are cooking and smoking, or have portable space heaters and fireplaces to prevent those preventable house fires.