We always think it won’t be us trapped in a house fire, but oftentimes, these events are out of our control and unavoidable. What should you do to prepare yourself for such a disaster, and what should be done in the moment? Always remember the safety of you and everyone in your household is what is most important in these scenarios. Here are some examples of what should be done if you find yourself trapped in a house fire.
Prepare Your Escape Route Ahead of Time
This is especially important if you have children or dependents living in your home. Though we all hope to never be involved in such a situation, the old adage “Better safe than sorry” rings true. Exiting the building is the first and most important step of the process. It is important for all members of the household to know all the possible exits in the event of an emergency. House fires affect the property in many ways and can make it impossible to get to the main exit so knowing your options ahead of time can help get you out of a bad situation. From there, make sure you have a plan on where your family will meet so you don’t get separated after the fire.
There are other things we can do to prepare our homes to be safer for us in these instances, or assist us in preventing fires altogether. Make sure to test the batteries on your smoke detector so that they can notify you in the event of a fire. Keeping a clean home can prevent any obstacles you may face. Many fires are caused in the kitchen or by heating appliances, so keeping a fire extinguisher close at hand in those areas can possibly save your life.
Make sure to go over some basic safety precautions when discussing your escape route. For example:
- Touch the doorknobs first and test for heat. This could be a good indicator of what’s going on on the other side of the door. If you feel heat, don’t open it to prevent the fire from spreading further
- If your escape route takes you through smoke, stay low to avoid it as much as possible.
- Do not go back into the home for items.
- Know who is in the home to ensure everyone gets out safely.
- Remaining calm will help you get out of the home safer and quicker than if you are in a panic
- Once you exit the building, stay at least 100 feet away as the air may still be toxic.
9-1-1 should be called as soon as possible. You will need to let them know the address and if there is anyone still trapped inside the building. At this point, hopefully everyone inside has evacuated and the dispatcher will ask you for more information.
Once you are out of the building it is pivotal that you do not reenter. Exposing yourself to smoke and fire could potentially be fatal. Though it is tragic that you will likely lose precious items, none of them are worth risking your life over. If there are still people or pets in the home, trust that your fire department is staffed by trained professionals will do whatever it takes to get them out safely.
Contact Your Loved Ones
Be sure to let your friends and family know of the situation but that you are safe. This could prevent anyone from worrying if they have heard of the fire elsewhere.
Practicing fire safety in our day to day lives can help us prevent most instances of a house fire, or extinguish a small fire before it gets out of control. If you find yourself dealing with the devastation of a house fire, know that we are here for you in your time of need. Call Fresno Craftsman and let us help you on the road to recovery (559) 365-1303.