You’re relaxing at home on a Saturday night; it’s been a hectic week.  All at once you smell smoke. Your house is on fire! How should you react?

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), thousands of people die in fire related incidents. Actually, the heat and smoke from a fire cause most of these deaths. If you are caught in a house that is on fire you don’t have time to THINK about what to do! In most estimates, you have only about 2 minutes to react and get out safely.

How You SHOULD React

  1. Go For A Fire Extinguisher

Your smoke detector goes off. Your first move should be to grab your fire extinguisher. Maybe it will make a difference and you can put the fire out. If the fire is already too large, abandon the fire extinguisher and get out of the area.

  1. Sound the Alarm

Yell out to anyone inside the house that there is a fire. Your shout may come before any of your other smoke detectors go off and may give someone else an extra minute’s warning. Remember, 2 minutes only to escape unharmed.

  1. Call 911

If you don’t have your phone in your hand as you exit the house, run next door for a phone. Flag down a passerby. Even yell for help. NEVER re-enter a burning building; not for a phone, not for a pet, not for a family member.

  1. Leave Everything Behind

Nothing is more valuable than your health and safety. Don’t look around for a something that you think you can’t do without. “Things” can always be replaced. When the fire is out and it is safe to re-enter the house, then you can search for something of value.

5Stop, Drop, and Roll

You first probably heard it school but it still applies. If any part of you or your clothing catches on fire, stop running, drop to the ground, and roll until the fire is out.

  1. Cover and Crawl

While you are still inside a burning structure cover your mouth and nose. Use any piece of material you can grab, even a piece of what you are wearing. This will limit the amount of smoke you may breathe in. Also crawl you way out if the smoke is already thick or dense. The air closest to the floor will be the clearest and coolest. Heat rises!

  1. Close Doors Behind You

If you are escaping from a room with a door, close the door as you exit. Closing doors can help to slow down a fire by denying it more fresh oxygen.

  1. Stay Out and Meet Somewhere Safe

Again, NEVER re-enter a burning building. Don’t do it in an effort to safe a pet, jewelry, or someone else. Tell the firemen where you think someone might be. They are the experts, they will know how to proceed. Thanks to preplanning, every member of the household should know where to meet in an emergency. Go there and wait.

Trust The Experts

Cleveland Water & Fire Restoration knows that a home fire is terrifying. Fires cause untold amounts of costly damage. If your home has been damaged by fire, we are available to help 24/7. As soon as the fire is out they can assist in boarding your home up so that nobody else can enter without your say so. They can also cleanup the damage, remove any lingering smoke odors, and help get you started on the road to restoration. Call them anytime at 440-530-4881.