A house fire is not something you ever expect to happen. House fires can strike at any time of the day whether it’s the middle of the night or the afternoon. Even if you do everything in your power to prevent a house fire, you can’t totally prevent one from happening. If a fire occurs in your house, one of the most important things to keep in mind is to remain calm. Panicking can add to the chaos and create confusion. Also, it is important that you get yourself to safety and alert the authorities before helping others.
Some of the top causes of house fires are cooking equipment, heating, smoking in bedrooms, electrical equipment, and candles. All of these things have one thing in common and that’s fire. The best way to prevent a house fire is to take care of the little things. Make sure the stove is off when it is unattended, if you smoke, make sure your cigarette is out when you are finished, or if you’re leaving the house, make sure candles are out.
Tips for Residential Housing Fire Safety
House fires are very dangerous and claim dozens of lives each year. It is important that each household has a plan in place in the event of a fire. Everyone living in the house should be aware of the exits and know where to meet up with the family once they leave the home. We have put together a list of tips that will help you keep safe during a house fire below.
1. Don’t be lazy, react to the smoke alarm
We all know of a time or two when the fire alarms inside the house went off and we ignored it because the alarm probably had low batteries at the time or someone was cooking and the smoke caused the alarm to go off. While our reaction, or lack thereof, was okay in that scenario because there wasn’t actually a fire, a lazy reaction can be the difference between life and death in an actual fire.
When you hear the fire alarm going off in our house, get up and begin to investigate. These alarms are in our house for a reason. If the alarms are ringing, it’s more likely than not for a reason.
2. Exit through doors
The safest way to exit the house is through doors. Before you leave a room, feel the door with the back of your had. If the door is hot, the fire is likely near. If the door is cool, you are safe to exit the room and exit the house. Also, if you see smoke under the door, the fire is likely following close behind. Use an alternate exit if there is one.
3. Avoid smoke inhalation
How can you avoid smoke inhalation when the house is on fire? Stay low and cover your mouth with a cloth of some kind. Smoke inhalation can not only do damage to your lungs, but you may faint as a result of breathing in too much smoke.
If you find yourself trapped in a room with no exits, this tip will come in handy. Cover any vents or openings (the bottom of the door) in order to prevent smoke from coming into the room. In an extra effort, keep your mouth and nose covered with some sort of cloth. Smoke rises, so it’s important you keep your body as low as possible while you wait for help.
4. Stop, Drop, and Roll!
While we often catch ourselves casually joking around about the stop, drop, and roll technique, it can come in handy in a fire. If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll is a proven method and will extinguish the fire.
5. Call for Help from a Second Story Window
If you are in a two story house, call for help from the second floor. It is important to let the fire department or other household members know that you are still stuck in the house.
If there is no other way of escaping, you can try going out the window. Look for a ledge or something lower that you can hang on to. It is important that you face the house and extend your body as far down as you can before letting go. This is not the best option and should be the last thing you consider. If the fire still has not reached the room you’re in, it is best to wait for help.
6. After you safely exit the house, take a head count and call emergency services
You have finally safely exited the house. Now your job is over, right? Wrong. If you are the first person out of the house, get a head count and call 911 or the emergency services. Do not go back into the residence unless it is safe to do so. Entering a burning building can be difficult to navigate and should be left to the professionals.