House fires are frightening. Despite the many advances in home safety over the years, there are still more than 350,000 home structure fires each year in the U.S. Structure fires in homes are responsible for more than 2,500 deaths each year (about seven people per day on average), and more than 12,000 injuries. This is what you should do if a fire starts in your home.
Fire safety starts long before there is an actual fire in your home. Properly installed and working smoke detectors are the most important tool in quickly detecting a fire so that you can safely escape.
Know the risks
The majority of home structure fires are started by cooking and heating equipment. Maintaining cooking and heating equipment is the best way to limit the risk of fire in your home.
Smoking is responsible for more deaths than any other home fire cause. Avoid smoking in bed or while you are sleepy, and always carefully extinguish cigarettes to reduce the risk of a fire caused by smoking.
What to do
If a fire does start in your home, it is important to exit the building as quickly as possible. Do not delay escaping to collect belongings.
Fire extinguishers can be used to quickly stop a small fire before it has time to spread. It is still important to exit the building and call the fire department though as the fire may have entered a wall or ceiling and may restart at any time.
Always feel doors and door handles before opening them to be sure the fire is not already burning on the other side of the door. Use a different escape route if the door or handle is hot to the touch.
Smoke can quickly overwhelm anyone during a fire so try to avoid smoky areas if possible. Crawl on your hands and knees if it is necessary to pass through a smoky room during a fire.
Should your clothing catch on fire while you are escaping, remember to Stop, Drop, and Roll to extinguish the flames.
Call 911 from your cell phone or a neighbor’s phone as soon as you have safely exited the building.
Life Safety Consultants is a leading supplier of fire alarms, smoke detectors, and more. We carry products that will help to keep you safe in the event of a fire. Contact us at 888-557-0558 to learn more about our fire safety products.