Know how to get out safely and practice Fires can happen anywhere, and knowing what to do, is the key to surviving a fire emergency.
When there’s a fire inside your school or home, you need to get out immediately. Since smoke from a fire can make it difficult to see, it’s important to know the best way to exit the building.
The best way to be prepared for a fire is to have a plan before it even happens. Your plan should include fire drills. A fire drill can help you practice leaving your building quickly and safely. You should also know at least two ways to get out.
Many schools practice fire drills during the course of the school year. The fire alarm goes off, students line up in an orderly fashion and teachers escort them safely out of the building. Often local fire departments are on hand to observe and provide instruction along the way.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, only 23 percent of households have planned and practiced a home fire escape plan. The majority of home fires occur when people are sleeping which emphasizes the importance of working smoke alarms.
It’s important to know that just a small amount of planning can make a huge difference in case of an emergency. The following fire drill and escape plan tips apply to both home and work.
- Develop a fire escape plan which identifies two ways out of each room or work area.
- At home, install smoke alarms on every level and outside each sleeping area.
- Establish a meeting place outside.
- If smoke alarms or fire alarm systems activate, immediately proceed to the nearest exit, do not take time to collect personal belongings. If smoke is encountered, proceed to the secondary exit. If you must exit through smoke get low and under the smoke.
- Practice your escape plan or conduct a fire drill.
- Never go back inside!
Do you and your family regularly check for home fire hazards? If not, there is the potential for danger. Fire departments responded to nearly 400,000 home fires in 2011 causing $6.9 billion in damages.In fact, more than 78 percent of all structure fires are home fires.
Many potential fire hazards go undetected because people simply do not take steps to fireproof their home - and most potential fire hazards can be corrected with a little common sense.
Cooking fires are one of the leading causes of home fires and home fire injuries. Nearly all kitchen fires start with the ignition of food, cooking materials such as oil or other items found in the kitchen.
Heating equipment is another leading cause of home fires. Portable and fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, should always be at least three feet away from any kind of flammable materials.
Another leading cause of home fires is electricity. During a typical year, home electrical problems account for more than 26,000 fires and $1 billion in property losses. About half of all residential electrical fires involve electrical wiring, such as frayed wires, misuse of extension cords and overloaded outlets.
Smoking has been a leading cause of home fires for decades. Eighty percent of home smoking fires originate in upholstered furniture, mattresses, bedding or clothing. Bedroom fires are often caused by smoking in bed, misuse or poor maintenance of electrical devices, careless use of candles and children playing with matches and lighters.
Fire safety and prevention starts at home, and involves the entire family. Identifying potential fire hazards and correcting them before a fire starts is a lesson in saving lives.
Please read this aritcle from the Illinois Fire Safty Alliance