As a homeowner, fire prevention should be a priority for your family’s safety. Even when you follow proper precautions, it is important to know what to do in an emergency such as a house fire. Below are five things everyone should remember about fire safety and what to do in case a fire breaks out.
1. Use Planned Escape Routes
All homeowners should have at least two potential escape routes planned out for their family in case of a fire. If your home has more than one level to it, consider having foldable ladders accessible throughout the house in case a window exit is the only option. Additionally, ensure each family member knows where the singular meet-up location is outside of the house after evacuation. Too many fatalities occur from people running back into the home to look for loved ones who were already outside but not at the designated meeting area.
2. Stay Low To The Ground
During evacuation, it is important to stay as low to the ground as possible while navigating an escape route. This tip is important because of smoke and hot air rising. The closer you stay to the ground, the cooler you will stay until you get out of the house and the more oxygen you will have to safely breathe. It is important to reduce the risk of inhaling smoke because it can cause damage to your lungs in as little as a few minutes.
3. Stop, Drop, and Roll
Most people have heard to stop, drop, and roll when there is a fire, but it doesn’t hurt to refresh what each step means once in a while. If your house is on fire and flames jump to your clothing, do not run in panic. Running will fan the flames and make them worse. If your clothes are on fire, stop in your tracks and drop to the floor. Roll around until the flames are smothered and extinguished.
4. Stay Prepared
The best thing you and your family can do is to be prepared before a fire has a chance to start. Testing your smoke detectors monthly and ensuring they have working batteries is a key step in early detection that helps your family get out quickly and safely. Check the dates on the detectors, too; if they are older than 10 years, it’s time to replace them. Also keep a working fire extinguisher in your home, near the kitchen and easily accessible – never under the kitchen sink! Double check that extinguisher regularly to make sure it is still pressurized (is the gauge in the green?) and free from damage.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Once your home has safety devices installed, it is important your family practices escaping from the home in the event of a fire. This is especially important when you have small children in the home. The more you practice, the more instilled it will be in your mind and become second nature. This is important during an actual fire because most people have a hard time thinking rationally.
The more prepared you are for a potential house fire, the better chance of saving your family and belongings. As soon as you notice smoke or a fire in your home, call emergency services for help and get your family out as quickly as possible.