There are few things scarier than waking up to fire alarms going off and the scent of smoke in the air. It is something that many of us will never experience, but for some people, it becomes a nightmare that they will spend the rest of their lives reliving. If you suddenly find yourself in a raging inferno, try to stay calm and remember these tips for escaping a house fire.
Create an Escape Plan
The key to surviving harrowing situations is to keep from panicking. Always have a plan for emergencies. A complete evacuation plan includes multiple escape routes, tools to aid your getaway, and a single established meeting place. After creating a thorough plan, perform regular fire drills until you know that everybody has memorized the plan.
Sound the Alarm
If you are the person who discovers the fire, you should know exactly how to proceed. First, determine whether the fire can be contained. Extinguish the fire if you can, but if not, start sounding the alarm for the rest of the house. Scream “Fire!” as loud as you can and set off the smoke detectors in the home to alert others to the threat. Remember that smoke inhalation can expose you to many toxic substances that you want to avoid.
Follow a Route
The last of the tips for escaping a house fire is to follow one of your designated escape routes. Remember to stay low to the ground with a towel to cover your face and to grab doorknobs. Do not waste time grabbing valuables, as you can replace them. Don’t risk your life for material items. Finally, try to close doors behind you as long as this doesn’t block the escape route for others. This can help stop the spread of the flames. And remember the old kindergarten “Stop, Drop, and Roll” drill if your clothes are on fire after you escape the building.
GET ALERTS on Facebook.com/CardinalEmergencies
GET ALERTS on Facebook.com/ArlingtonCardinal
Stay informed with news from PublicSafetyReporter.com’s Emergencies Behind the Scenes Facebook page — Facebook.com/CardinalEmergencies.