You often think that you’ll never be the victim of a fire. But despite all your best efforts, the risk of a fire will always exist. Accidents happen, and many fire causes are beyond your control.
So you should prepare and know what you’ll need to do. It will prevent you from panicking if it does ever happen to you.
Studies have shown that there are common behaviours which people exhibit in the event of a fire.
These are often the result of having no training, and not practicing and planning your emergency exit route.
So follow our advice so you know what you need to do in case of fire at home.
A Rapid Response
Your first priority will be getting you and your family out as quickly as possible. Timing is everything when it comes to a house fire.
Common causes of injury and death are people underestimating how quickly fire spreads and how long it takes to exit the building. You won’t have time to rescue your valuables.
React as soon as you hear a smoke alarm go off. Even if it does end up being a false alarm caused by the toaster, you should investigate.
It’s easy to react slowly, or to ignore it even, but you could be missing a potentially dangerous threat.
With the appropriate fire extinguisher, you can stop a fire in its initial stages. That means you reduce the amount damage it causes and prevent it from spreading.
Another issue which can cause delays is when people look to others for a lead. For some reason, no-one likes to be the first person.
So take charge and lead by example. Someone has to, and if it means that everyone remains safe, it’s worth it. Also, try your best to stay calm. Mistakes happen when people are panicking.
The Emergency Exit
You should already have an emergency exit plan in place, which your whole family are aware of. If possible, have more than one means of escape, as that means you’re prepared if your main route becomes blocked.
From upstairs, your other route of exit might be out of a bedroom window using a fire escape ladder. If this is the case, practice using it and make sure everyone knows where to find it.
Practicing your emergency exit plan is a good way of ensuring that everyone knows what they should do.
And also, ensure that you keep this route free from obstacles. If you find the route blocked, it will slow you all down.
Raise the alarm as soon as possible. By having smoke alarms which work, you give yourselves the best chance. And if everyone is asleep, shout loudly and get everyone alert as soon as possible.
And as you exit, shut doors and windows behind you. That will help to keep the fire contained to an area, and prevent it from spreading quite as quickly.
When you’re out, do a headcount straight away. Is everyone there?
Fingers crossed they are. But remember that you should never re-enter a burning building.
You should then immediately ring the emergency services. You know the number: 999 or 112.
While you’re waiting for the fire brigade to arrive, get away from the building. Try and get as far away as possible. That means if the fire flares up or causes an explosion, you’re all out of harm’s way.
Hopefully, you’ll never find yourself needing to escape a burning building. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.
So prepare an evacuation plan for your home, and then perform a fire drill to give it a try.