What to Do If a Fire Starts
Fires are more common than you would believe. According to the latest report by the National Fire Protection Association, a fire was reported every 23 seconds in the year 2020. With such high statistics, every individual must be aware of fire protocols. So without further ado, let’s see what you do when you see a fire breaks out.
Yell Fire or Activate Fire Alarm
The most important thing you can do in case of a fire is alert others. However, it would help if you remembered not to panic. If you panicked, you might freeze and get yourself hurt. Therefore, you need to yell fire on top of your voice so others can hear you and possibly help you too.
If the fire alarm did not activate due to smoke or temperature, you could manually activate it. But don’t put yourself in harm’s way for this step. Only go for manual activation of the fire alarm if it is on your way out of the room. Do not go deeper into the home or the building in any situation.
Get Out Through a Safe Passage
When leaving the room where the fire broke out, always take the route that leads you to the outside of the building. Do not try to save or salvage anything from other rooms or make your path to safety complicated. Fire damage to life is more threatening than the loss of belongings.
If a doorknob feels warm to the touch, do not open it. Find another route outside. If there are no other routes, get low on the ground and cover your mouth and nose to avoid inhaling smoke while making your way to safety. Being close to the ground will help you avoid stepping onto the fire, and covering your face will keep you from inhaling smoke. Inhaling smoke can make you unconscious, and you can end up getting seriously injured.
Close any doors that you cross to reduce fire damage. If you’re not on the first floor, take the stairs instead of the elevator to reach ground level. Elevators may malfunction due to fire damage and have a higher risk of fire damage than staircases.
Put Out Fire from Your Clothes
Your clothes may catch fire as you make your way through it. If that happens, drop on the ground on the fireside, cover your face, and roll on the ground until the fire is extinguished. If the clothes on fire can be easily taken off, such as a cap or a scarf, take them off, place them on the floor and stomp your shoe over them.
Stay Out and Call 911
Once you’re outside, do not go back inside. Use your phone or anyone else’s phone to call 911. Keep yelling ‘fire’ so that more and more people can hear you. Keep your calm while yelling; you do not want to scare people; you only want to inform them.
Do Not Try to Save Lives
You might be tempted to risk your life to save others, but doing so would not be a wise decision. When a fire breaks out, the best you can do is to protect your own life.
Like you, other people might have made it to safety through other means. Pets can be especially good at sensing danger and saving their own lives. If you are worried about anyone trapped in the building, tell the firefighters about their possible location inside the building to get immediate and effective help.
Do Not Go Back in for Belongings
When a fire breaks out, there is only one thing that you can be efficiently responsible about, and that is your life. No jewels, cash, or pieces of technology are worth more or even equal to your life. Whenever a fire breaks out in front of you, your focus should only be on saving your own life.
What to Do When You’re Trapped in Fire
If a fire starts near the exit of your floor and you can’t make out of the building safely, reach the farthest end from the fire and open all windows to signal someone downstairs. Wave a brightly colored fabric or a flashlight to get attention towards yourself.
Meanwhile, also call 911 so you can be rescued as soon as possible. If you find a fire extinguisher, keep it handy to keep the fire out of the room where you are. It might be possible for you to plan your escape with the help of a fire extinguisher, but the fire might have done some structural damage to the building that you would not know about. Staying put in your place and calling for help might be the wiser decision.
If you can find water, soak a towel in it and place it under the closed door. If you cannot find a towel or another fabric, take the outermost layer of your clothes and soak them in water for the purpose.
Once you are safely outside the building, do not go back inside until deemed safe for entrance. Call a restoration company to restore fire damage and smoke damage to the property before inhabiting it again. Many restoration companies, such as the 911 Restoration of Montgomery County, offer complete fire and smoke damage restoration services to personal and commercial properties.