Fires can happen anywhere, at any time. It’s important to be prepared and know what to do if a fire breaks out in your home, workplace, or other building.

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Here are some basic steps to follow:

  1. GET OUT. This is the most important thing you can do. Don’t stop to save belongings or investigate the fire. If you can, use your primary exit route. If smoke or flames are blocking your way, use your secondary exit route.
  2. STAY OUT. Once you’re outside, go to a safe place away from the building. If you’re in a multi-story building, go to the ground floor.
  3. CALL fire department. Once you’re safe, call the fire department and report the fire.

If your clothes catch fire:

  1. STOP. Don’t run.
  2. DROP. Lie down on the ground.
  3. ROLL. Roll around on the ground to smother the flames.

If you must escape through smoke:

  1. GET LOW. Smoke rises, so the air is cleaner closer to the ground.
  2. CRAWl. This will help you avoid breathing in smoke.
  3. Use your hands to feel your way along the walls.

If you’re trapped:

  1. Close the door behind you. This will help to slow the spread of the fire.
  2. Cover the bottom gap of the door with a blanket or rug. This will help to keep smoke out.
  3. Call fire department and tell them where you are.

Here are some additional tips for staying safe during a fire:

  • Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your family regularly.
  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and workplace. Test them monthly and replace the batteries every year.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and workplace. Know how to use it properly.
  • Be careful when using candles, space heaters, and other flammable items.
  • Teach your children how to escape from a fire.

Fire escape planning

Your fire escape plan should include the following:

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  • Primary and secondary exit routes from every room in your home or workplace.
  • A meeting place outside the building where everyone can gather once they are safe.
  • A plan for people with disabilities.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are essential for early warning of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Test your smoke alarms monthly and replace the batteries every year. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed near bedrooms and sleeping areas.

Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are only effective for small fires. If you are unsure how to use a fire extinguisher, don’t try. Just get out of the building.

Candles, space heaters, and other flammable items

Be careful when using candles, space heaters, and other flammable items. Never leave them unattended.

Teaching children how to escape from a fire

Children should know how to escape from a fire without your help. Teach them to stay low and crawl through smoke. They should also know where to meet you outside the building.

High-rise buildings

If you live or work in a high-rise building, there are some additional safety considerations to keep in mind.

  • Do not use the elevators. Use the stairs to evacuate.
  • If you are trapped in a room, close the door and cover the bottom gap with a blanket or rug. Call 911 and tell them where you are.
  • Listen for instructions from the fire department.

Staying safe in a high-rise fire:

  • Wear a smoke hood if available. Smoke hoods provide oxygen and filter smoke, allowing you to escape from a fire safely.
  • If you have to escape through smoke, crawl low and use your hands to feel your way along the walls.
  • If you are trapped on a balcony, wave a white cloth or towel to signal for help.

Fire escape planning

Your fire escape plan should be specific to your home or workplace. Consider the following factors when developing your plan:

  • The number of people who live or work in the building.
  • The location of the exits.
  • Any special needs that residents or employees may have.
  • The layout of the building and any potential hazards.

Once you have developed your fire escape plan, practice it with your family or coworkers regularly. This will help everyone know what to do in the event of a fire.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every level of your home or workplace, including bedrooms and sleeping areas. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so that if one alarm goes off, all of the alarms in the building will sound.

Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed near bedrooms and sleeping areas because carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can build up in your home if your furnace or other appliance is not working properly.

Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers should be placed near exit routes and in areas where flammable materials are stored. If you do use a fire extinguisher, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Candles, space heaters, and other flammable items

Candles, space heaters, and other flammable items should be used with caution and never left unattended. If you are using a candle, make sure it is in a sturdy holder and away from flammable materials. Space heaters should be placed on a level surface and away from furniture and bedding.

Teaching children how to escape from a fire

Children should be taught how to escape from a fire at a young age. Teach them to stay low and crawl through smoke. They should also know where to meet you outside the building.

High-rise buildings

If you live or work in a high-rise building, it is important to know the evacuation procedures. Find out where the fire stairs are located and how to get to the ground floor quickly and safely.

Smoke hoods

Smoke hoods are portable devices that provide oxygen and filter smoke. They can be worn to escape from a fire safely. Smoke hoods are available at most hardware stores.

Escaping through smoke

If you have to escape through smoke, crawl low and use your hands to feel your way along the walls. Smoke rises, so the air is cleaner closer to the ground.

Signaling for help

More about fire safety in high-rise buildings

High-rise buildings pose unique fire safety challenges. Smoke and flames can spread quickly through stairwells, making it difficult to escape. In addition, high-rise buildings often have many occupants, which can make evacuation more challenging.

Here are some additional fire safety tips for high-rise buildings:

  • Know your evacuation plan. Find out where the fire stairs are located and how to get to the ground floor quickly and safely.
  • If you are trapped in a room, close the door and cover the bottom gap with a blanket or rug. This will help to slow the spread of smoke and flames.
  • If you have to escape through smoke, crawl low and use your hands to feel your way along the walls. Smoke rises, so the air is cleaner closer to the ground.
  • If you are trapped on a balcony, wave a white cloth or towel to signal for help. You can also use your cell phone to fire department.

Using a smoke hood

Smoke hoods can be a valuable tool for escaping from a fire in a high-rise building. Smoke hoods provide oxygen and filter smoke, allowing you to breathe safely.

To use a smoke hood:

  1. Put on the smoke hood and seal the edges around your face.
  2. Breathe normally.
  3. Crawl low and use your hands to feel your way along the walls.

Staying safe on a balcony

If you are trapped on a balcony in a high-rise building, there are a few things you can do to stay safe:

  • Stay calm and assess the situation.
  • Wave a white cloth or towel to signal for help.
  • If the fire department is not able to reach you quickly, try to lower yourself to the ground using a bed sheet or other sturdy rope.

Conclusion

Fire safety is important in all buildings, but it is especially important in high-rise buildings. By following the tips above, you can help to ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones in the event of a fire.

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