Steps to Safely Evacuate your Home during a Fire
A house fire is one of those disasters that seems unlikely to happen to your own home but they are actually a very common occurrence as a house fire is reported about every 86 seconds according to 2014 data from the National Fire Prevention Association. Fires must be treated differently than most disasters in your home because unlike water or mold, fires put you and your family at immediate risk of being seriously injured or worse. In the event of a fire, everyone in the home must evacuate and get to a safe place. Putting together a fire escape plan with your family is a good idea but if you have no set escape plan when a fire occurs, these fire evacuation steps could save your life.
Respond to your Fire Alarm
It seems like most of the time a smoke detector goes off, it is due to cooking or a low battery. These instances can cause you to take your smoke detector less seriously and associate the alarm with an annoyance rather than an emergency. Whenever you hear your smoke alarm going off, you should react as if it is an emergency and assess the situation. Hesitating even for a couple of minutes could mean the difference between life and death in a house fire.
Evaluate the Situation
Try to carefully evaluate the scope of the fire but do not try to put the fire out yourself unless it is small and contained enough to handle with a fire extinguisher. Most extinguishers do not provide effective enough fire protection for larger fires, it is best to simply evacuate in these scenarios.
It is important to try your best to stay calm in this situation and identify the safest means of evacuation. You should know where everyone is in the home so that you can help your family evacuate in the safest way possible. On your way out, do not try to save any of your personal items because this will increase your risk of getting injured. Besides, many fire and smoke damaged items can be cleaned and restored by a fire damage restoration company.
Check Door Handles
Before opening any doors to a different room, touch the door handle first. If the handle is warm, do not open the door because the fire is on the other side. In this case, you must rethink your fire evacuation plan and find a different door or window to leave the room.
If you are evacuating from a multi-floor building, it is always safest to use the stairs. The fire can cause a shortage in the mechanical system of an elevator which could cause you to become trapped.
As soon as you identify a safe evacuation route, immediately leave the home. Make sure you alert your family once you discover the safest route so everyone can get out quickly.
Once you get yourself and your family out of danger, call the fire department to come put out the fire. You should never try to go back into your home once you have evacuated. Firefighters must secure your home before it is safe to enter or begin fire damage restoration.
Call for Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration
Fires are very devastating disasters because they can happen very quickly and they seriously threaten the safety of your family. A good fire safety practice is to have an emergency evacuation plan in place in case of a fire but if you do not already have a plan or the nature of the fire makes your original plan too dangerous, following these fire evacuation tips will help you get out safely. After the fire is extinguished, you must call a professional for fire damage restoration immediately because the damage from a fire can continue to spread and even get worse. A fire damage restoration professional can limit and restore the damage from fire and smoke.