No one ever plans for their house to catch a fire. It is a frightening and upsetting experience that you probably wouldn’t wish on anyone. Fires do happen relatively frequently, though, and you will need to know how to react if one occurs in your home. There are a few important things to know to protect yourself and prevent further damage, and in this article, we’ll show you the 5 steps you will need to take if a fire breaks out in your home.
#1. React immediately to your smoke alarm
Once you hear your smoke detector going off, your first instinct should be getting you and your family to safety as soon as possible. You might want to grab a few documents and other stuff but you may not really be able to tell how much time you might have so it is advisable that you exit the house immediately. If it happens at night, yell loudly to wake everyone and alert them to the danger.
#2. Reduce the amount of smoke inhaled
Inhaling a lot of smoke will be toxic and could make you feel disoriented or even knock you unconscious. Since smoke tends to rise, the air at the bottom of the room will be cleaner and you should try crawling on the floor with your hands over your nose and mouth. If there is enough time, you should try covering your mouth and nose with a wet rag, which will help to filter the air you are breathing in.
#3. Consider safely exiting through doors
If a fire is severe, you might want to quickly jump out a window but it is safer to try the doors first, especially if you are in a storey building, to prevent further injuries. If you see smoke under a door, it might be best to avoid it as the fire might have spread that way already. Feel the door handle with your hand to check if it’s hot, if not it could be safe. If exiting through the doors is not feasible, then you might have to use the windows.
#4. Roll on the floor if your clothes are on fire
If your clothes have caught fire, stop whatever you are doing, cover your face with your hands and roll around on the floor until you put the fire out.
#5. Call for immediate help
If you are close to your phone, call emergency service lines to inform them of the emergency and try reaching out to neighbors by shouting out to them. If you are trapped inside while waiting for help, close all openings including the space underneath the door, with a piece of cloth to prevent smoke from seeping in. Also close the windows to prevent the fire from getting drawn to oxygen. Remember to do a headcount when everyone has been brought to safety.