There’s nothing fun about a house fire. It’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to damage everything in the house, including the structure itself. At the same time, it’s putting everyone in the home at risk as well.
Not only is there the damage from the fire itself to worry about, but also the smoke. Smoke damages the walls, ceiling, upholstery, and could harm you as well if you were to inhale it. Knowing what to do and what not to do can make all of the difference during a house fire.
Of course, one of the best things you can do to survive a house fire is prevent one from ever occurring in the first place. Most house fires are caused by very simple mistakes that turn into big, dangerous problems. Whether it’s electrical wiring, candles, or a stove. There are several potential sources of fire in the home and you should be aware of them at all times.
Many fires have started because the homeowner left a pot or pan unattended on the stove. You should always stand by your pan when cooking. Never leave the room to hang out somewhere else when the stove is working.
Drinking while you cook is another bad idea. A stove may not be “heavy machinery”, yet drinking still impairs your ability to properly use it. Save the drinks for after you’ve finished cooking or you could find a fire growing and no way to stop it.
Once a fire does break out the biggest mistake you can make is waiting to contact the fire department. Don’t attempt to put the fire out yourself. Fires grow at an alarming rate and can only be properly controlled if the fire department arrives on time. The longer you wait to make the call the bigger the fire and greater the loss.
Attempting to put the fire out with household items could cause the fire to grow even larger. If you hear the smoke alarm and see a fire then you need to get to safety and make the call.
Getting to safety can be tricky as well. Smoke is a serious threat, especially after the has started burning household items. Once this happens the smoke will contain a variety of toxic pollutants. Inhaling even a small amount may leave you unconscious.
To avoid the smoke you need to get low and go. This means crawling beneath the smoke line. Don’t attempt to stand and run through the smoke or you may not make it outside.
Get Out And Stay Out.
Your goal should be to reach the nearest exit. Whether it’s a door or window, once you’ve made it outside you’ll be safer than you could possibly be anywhere inside the home. It’s a good idea to keep a fire escape plan memorized for such an occasion. Once outside, find a phone and contact the fire department. Wait outside and don’t attempt to reenter the home under any circumstances.