The key to survival from any type of fires is a safe escape. Whereas commercial buildings have official fire exits and regular fire drills, most ordinary residences do not. Thus, during home fires many victims suffer from death or physical injuries because there is no specific fire exit and, usually, no formal training on what to do during a fire.
But this should not be the case. Although fire prevention is still the best measure to combat home fires, you need to prioritize and emphasize safety practices for you and your family to do during an actual fire. As accidents can occur any moment, it is always best to be prepared for any eventuality so that damage can be minimized. And since family safety is a top priority and escape is the key to survival, you should have an effective escape plan firmly established for the entire family to take.
While it is good to start planning for your escape during a fire, you should not overlook having a smoke alarm installed if you still have not done so. A smoke alarm alerts you that a possible fire is building up giving you the chance to escape.
Gather the family together and discuss the steps to follow and pointers to remember when escaping from a home fire.
- Since it may be smoky, get down or stoop while exiting as breathing and seeing may be easier in these positions. Cover your nose as toxic gases may be present in the smoke, and these may affect your mental faculties, or cause you to faint.
- Once you are out of the house, never go back inside for anything. Once out, keep out.
The type of fire may affect the progress of your escape. A gradually growing smoldering fire may progress without detection for a while before it finally flares up into enormous flames and tremendous heat. A swift flaming fire on the other hand allows a little amount of time before the leaping flames and scorching heat intensify. You should remember that in either form of fire, you should stay out once you are out.The following are a few specific tips to remember when escaping from either form of fire.
In a gradual smoldering fire:
This form of fire progresses gradually hence may not be picked up by smoke alarms immediately. But a photoelectric smoke alarm can detect a smoldering fire a few seconds faster than its ionization counterpart. Regardless of your smoke alarm however, be sure to go out as soon as you hear the sound of the alarm.
- If you have an established escape plan, it can significantly lessen the amount of time you spend in exiting your burning home. Thus, safety is more assured.
- As soon as the smoke alarm sounds, leave your home as fast as you can since you cannot predict when a smoldering fire will explode into huge burning flames.
- Smoldering fires generate a great amount of smoke so be sure to keep low while exiting to help you breathe and see better, thus avoiding or minimizing the inhalation of toxic gases which may be present in the smoke.
- Try an alternative escape route like a window or another door if your primary exit is blocked by smoke, flames or heat.
In a swift burning fire:
This type of fire allows limited time for escape. An ionization smoke alarm can detect a flaming fire several seconds faster than a photoelectric one. But these few seconds will surely count in a rapidly sweeping flaming fire which can determine your escape.
- A pre-established fire escape plan can minimize the time you need to get out of your home safely.
- As this fire grows swiftly, leave your home as fast as you can because the flames, heat, and toxic gases can magnify very rapidly.
- Again, use an alternative exit path if your main escape route is blocked by flames, heat or smoke.
Bear in mind too that in any emergency it is vital that your ability to think clearly and focus remains intact. Teach your family not to panic but to concentrate on the task of escaping to safety. It is even advisable that you regularly practice a fire drill in your home to ensure that every family member knows the escape plan.
RJ Smith frequently writes articles in an effect to educate others and raise public awareness on a variety of today’s important current developments. Article about a fire sprinkler.