How to Stay Alive if You’re Caught in a Building on Fire

building fire safety

You will never know when a fire suddenly strikes that’s why it is important to know the basic fire protection so you will not find yourself in a tight spot when fire happens. Don’t be caught unprepared when your place suddenly got caught in a fire.

Don’t delay undergoing or knowing the basic fire protection to safeguard yourself and the people you care about in case a fire breaks out in your area. In 2013 alone, the fire departments in the U.S.A. were able to respond to around 1,240,000 fires. The fire incidents took the lives of 3,000 people and nearly 16,000 people were injured at the time. Additionally, the cost of property lost has reached at least $11.5 billion.

It is estimated that someone dies from fire every 3 hours, and many people still believe that they are unlikely to experience a fire. These people think that they don’t need to go through a fire protection seminar or training because they don’t need it, but only to regret it when the fire happens.

Take note of the following important facts about fire that you should keep in mind:

– Fire can spread very quickly as it devours everything on its path.

– The temperature can rise to 600 degrees in a blink of an eye.

– The black smoke carries toxic gasses that can suffocate you anytime and only give you little time to escape death.

– Many designs of modern homes make it almost impossible to escape the fire when the flames begin to engulf the building.

Now that you are fully aware of the danger that fire brings, you should start attending a fire protection seminar or training for you to know the things that you need to do in case of fire. In the meantime, you can do the following precautionary measures.

1. Always be conscious or attentive to signs of fire outbreak and do your best to react properly right away.

You need to get out of the building right away when you notice any of the following:

– Smell a smoke

– See a smoke

– You hear the smoke alarm

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests that each home should have installed smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside of every sleeping area, and on each level of your home. Make sure that the smoke alarms are installed properly and working fine all the time. If you notice that something seems off with any of your smoke alarms, have it checked immediately to avoid trouble. You also may consider installing fire sprinklers.

2. Before you open any door when there’s fire, test it first if it’s hot.

When you attend a fire protection seminar, you will be informed that you should refrain from opening the door in case of fire. Using the back of your hand, you should check the door if it’s hot. Look under the door and see if there’s smoke coming out. If the door is hot or you can see smoke coming out underneath the door, stay away from the door and refrain from opening it.

You need to find another way out of the room and never ever try opening the door. If you find a safe route out of the burning building, evacuate the vicinity carefully, and don’t forget to close all the doors behind you as you move your way out of the building. Closing the door behind you can slow down the spread of fire and buy you some time to escape.

3. Remember that it is important to stay low when the building is on fire.

While you are evacuating the building and see smoke coming out somewhere, you need to immediately drop to your knees and try your best to crawl out of the place below the smoke. It is important not to inhale the smoke or you will be suffocated.

If for some reason it is impossible for you to get down on your knees, you need to cover your nose and mouth properly to avoid inhaling the toxic vapors. You may never be able to get out alive when you inhaled too many fumes.

4. Remember this when the fire begins to burn your clothes: stop, drop, and roll.

Stop, drop, and roll should be familiar to you since you have been given the drill since elementary school days. The rule never changed in the slightest. You still need to follow the same drill when a fire begins to burn your clothes. You should remain calm and composed. You need to avoid panicking and running like a headless chicken.

Once your clothes are caught on fire, stop what you are doing, drop to the floor, protect your face with your hands, and begin to roll. The idea is to cut off the air that fans the flames. If you have burns, you need to seek immediate medical attention and don’t delay for another minute. Your prompt action may prevent unsightly scarring.

5. You should have a basic understanding of the structure of the building to find your way out.

When there’s fire, the initial fire protection response of anyone should be to get out of the building right away. This is especially true if there are elderly people and young children in the household. You all need to have a basic understanding of the structure of your house or the building you are currently in.

Looking at the structure and design of your home, you should be able to design an escape plan in case there’s a fire or when some thugs suddenly force their way into your home. After creating the plan, you need to undergo a drill and practice it at least two times per year. You and your family should discuss at least two methods that you all can use when you need to find your way out of the room. Don’t forget to set a meeting place outside of your home so you can all meet again after all of you have escaped.

If you always go to a certain building or establishment, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the possible escape routes in case of fire. If you are going to an unfamiliar place or building for the first time, you need to know the fire exits so you’ll know where to go in case a fire suddenly breaks out.

6. When you are trapped, close all the doors to separate yourself from the fire.

What if you are trapped inside the house with no way out? You need to remember the following:

– Don’t panic and just close all the doors that will serve as dividers between you and the fire.

– Try to find a way to fill the cracks with something and cover all vents to keep the smoke from entering and invading the room that you currently occupy.

– Get your phone and call 911 right away and inform the responder where you are.

– You may also volunteer other information, such as your current condition whether you are starting to have difficulty in breathing, so the rescuers will know what they need to do first.

When the rescuers arrive and start shouting, try your best to answer back so they can pinpoint your exact location. You can knock or hit the wall with something if you find it hard to shout. You need to create a noise so it would be easy for the rescuers to come to you.

7. Once you managed to get out, stay out.

Once you have reached your designated meeting place, check whether everyone is present and unharmed. You also need to call for help if you still have not called for one yet. Make sure to keep a safe distance from the burning house or building. Don’t try to go back in your burning house for anything, no matter how important that document may be. You should not even go back to fetch your pet. The firefighters will take care of retrieving your pets for you, and you should inform them right away that you have pets in the burning building.

It is too dangerous and risky to go back inside the burning house or building because you may not be twice as lucky. When you go back inside, there’s no guarantee that you will be able to get out alive. Keep in mind that you have already inhaled some toxic fumes. Inhaling more may put your health at risk.

You and the other members of your household should know the right fire protection protocol to follow to keep yourselves safe and will be able to live for another day. Everyone should be aware of what to do in case a fire breaks out in your home. Take note that having smoke alarms and fire sprinklers installed in your home can reduce the risk of dying in a fire by 82 percent. Having an efficient fire sprinkler system installed in your home is the same as having a personal firefighter that can protect your home from fire all the time.

Important Things You Should Remember When there’s Fire

There are certain things that you should and should not do in case of fire. Your prompt action can save you and your family.

– Do not ignore the fire alarm when it sounds off even though you may be having some issues with it.

– Do not dawdle packing your valuables or getting dressed nicely before you try to escape.

– Do not try to extinguish a fire if you did not undergo fire protection training or not adept in doing so. You should leave the fire fighting to the firefighters.

– Do try to wake up everyone when a fire suddenly breaks out in the middle of the night. Shout on top of your voice if you must so everyone can wake up.

– If you want to escape through a window, make sure that the door and the other windows in the room are shut tightly. Otherwise, the draft from the window that you are going to use to escape may invite fire and smoke into the room.

– If there’s no smoke in the hallway, you need to walk calmly to the fire exit near you and flee from the burning building.

– Do not use elevators when there’s fire. You need to take the stairs and escape.

– Pull the fire alarm on your way out or shout that there’s fire for everyone to hear.

– Do not stay near the roadways, power lines, and trees when there’s fire. If the building has a designated assembly area, go there where it is safe instead of loitering around.

– If you are trapped in a room and already called the rescuers, you need to stay in the line until the firefighters arrive.

– If you have a flashlight, use it to send a signal to the rescuers so they can pinpoint your exact location.

– Do not enter a room that is filled with smoke.

– Use the fire extinguisher properly as a form of fire protection. To use the fire extinguisher remember the acronym PASS – pull the safety pin, aim at the fire base, squeeze the handle or trigger of the fire extinguisher, and sweep from one side to the other.

– Listen and follow the instructions if the building where you currently stay has a public address (PA) system.

– If you are escaping through a window, be ready to shut it immediately when smoke suddenly rushed in.

– Remember that patience is a virtue, and try to calm yourself down.

When you undergo fire protection training or go on the advice of a fire protection engineering consultant, you may keep hearing the words don’t panic, and remain calm. Once you panic, your judgment becomes hazy and full of uncertainty. Panicking can only make you choose the wrong decisions and routes. You need to have courage and a clear mind when facing a dangerous situation so you can escape without much trouble.

Don’t ever think that it is impossible for you to encounter a fire. Keep in mind that fire break out may happen any time and any place. To protect yourself and your loved ones, you need to know the correct fire protection protocol and guidance.

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