how to prepare for a disaster in the home FIRE

how to prepare for a disaster in the home FIRE

 

A house fire is one of the most common disasters to occur in the home. Thousands die every year in the United States alone. Sadly this is a number that can be greatly reduced by drawing up and becoming familiar with a fire evacuation plan. How to prepare for a disaster in the home should be on everybody’s priority list as it could save you and your family.

Evacuation plan

Keep calm and try not to panic (I know easier said than done)

Its of vital importance that you have a escape plan in place, in order for you and your family to survive a house fire. You should regularly go through the actions with your family, on how you would escape your home if its on fire. You should have all the details down in writing and a diagram drawn so you and your family can see it often.

I have a diagam of our house floor plan hung up in our pantry where the kids can see it. In the diagram I have counted steps from bedrooms to the exit points in the house. We regularly practice this with the lights off walking then crawling to exit.

In a house fire there’s a big chance that smoke will be everywhere so you need to know your home layout blindfolded, so you dont get disoriented in you cant see.

Stay away from fabrics

In the event of a house fire you want to stay down and close of the floor as you make your way to the exit points. Smoke rises and this smoke contains toxic gasses from synthetic fabrics, paints etc.

If you find that the heat is intense, it would be wise to remove any clothing thats synthetic. If you have time replace your clothing with woolen garments. Synthetic clothing can stick to your skin and create burns that are far more severe. Fabrics around the home will go up in flames much quicker that other house hold objects.

What if you cant get out

If you cant exit the building for any reason, it may be a good option to stay put. Dont open any doors and try to cover or block up any cracks. put towels, clothes, blankets whatever you can find to fill any gaps. A fire will gain momentum fast if exposed to  oxygen. The fire will suck in oxygen from anywhere it can, so keep doors and windows shut until help arrives.

Call for help if your trapped on the upper floor

If you are on a high upper level call out to passerbys for help. Use your phone to call for emergency assistance and wait calmly until help arrives. Have any fire extinguisher’s there with you if possible.

If your not to far from the ground escape through the window

If you are on the first floor you can simply climb out of the window and jump to the ground.  If you are on the 2nd floor you may opt to dangle down from a window ledge to swing down to the ground from.

Remember that if you leave a window open for too long the oxygen will fuel the fire. If you make the decision to escape through a open window then commit quickly.

Keep rope ladders on the top floors

In a few different locations on your upper floors, have rope ladders stored. Make this a area easy to locate by all the family. If a fire occurs you can dangle these from balconies or window ledges. This will make for a easy escape for all the family

Leave your house immediately after you hear your smoke alarms

Where most people die in a house fire is when they delay in gathering photos, clothes, documents etc. As soon as you hear your alarms go off, make a inspection that it is definitely a fire and if it is, take immediate action.

Wake up all people and hurry to the exit points. Any pets can be taken along with exiting. All of you should be fully up to speed with the evacuation plan, even small children.

Don’t assume everyone is following you to the exit. Gather everyone in the house and be the last person to leave. This insures that small children, elderly ones get to safety

Doors can serve as a protection

Doors can be a great protection in the event of a house fire. But remember to keep them closed if flames are in the opposite room. If you are not sure where the fire is located, touch the handle of the door or the door itself.

If it’s hot to touch don’t open the door as flames will certainly be on the other side. Also if smoke is billowing from under the door this is another indication that there’s flames on the other side

Have a smoke respirator on stand by

Smoke is definitely the number 1 thing that kills most people in a house fire. Within 5 minutes toxic gas and smoke would render a person that has suffered from smoke interrelation unconsciousness. Brain damage would soon result if exposed to longer periods and probably death.

Have a smoke respirator on hand in a few different locations in the house that you can grab in a emergency. Failing this you can use a large plastic bottle, empty it and cut the bottom off. Cut it so it molds around your face in a slopping direction. Place a wet spong in the neck of the bottle and put it to your face. This will cut out most of the deadly gas and smoke

Take your fire plan seriously

Fire in the home is something that we all need to take very seriously. Way too many die in homes due to fire and sadly alot are children. Parents need to be diligent in taking this topic very serious and need to put a real plan in place.

Any questions regarding fire evacuation plans or help putting one together, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Are there any other things I forgot to mention here? Let me know in the comments below

Stay safe

Cheers

Dave


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