Consider this: A fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the U.S. every 16 seconds. A residential fire occurs every 74 seconds. To protect your family, you should understand the nature of fire.
Fire Is Dark
In television and movies, fire is often portrayed as a bright light, but fire is actually pitch black. You must memorize escape plans. Alarm models with an escape light can help light a pathway. Know how to Make an Escape Plan (PDF).
Smoke from Fire Kills
Fire victims typically succumb to smoke inhalation before flames reach them. More fire deaths occur when people are sleeping. Many people falsely believe that they would awaken during a fire, but toxic gases actually put people into a deeper sleep.
Fire Is Intensely Hot
This might seem obvious, but few understand that fire can cause the temperature to rise several hundred degrees in seconds. That degree of heat can prompt the human body to stop functioning and lose consciousness, making escape impossible.
Fire Is Fast
A home can be completely consumed by fire in less than five minutes.
Being prepared in an emergency can save you and your family's lives.
- Choose a meeting place outside of your home to make it easy to account for all family members.
- Close doors behind you to stall a fire.
- Create two fire escape plans from each room. Rehearse exiting each room quickly.
- Feel a door and door handle before you open it. If the doorknob or door is hot, do not open it. Use another escape route.
- Get outside immediately. Call 911 from a neighbor’s house. Give your address and full name. Stay on the line to make sure the operator has all of the information.
- Never go back into a burning building for any reason.
- Never ignore an alarm. If it sounds, there is a reason.
- Stay low. Smoke and heat rise.
- Young children often panic in fires, hiding in closets or under beds. Teach young children to get out of a burning house immediately.