In 2015, the National Fire Protection Association reported an estimated 1,345,500 fires in the United States. That means that every day, firefighters across the country put their lives on the line to protect us and our property.
While most of us will never have to face a fire ourselves, it’s important to know how to stay safe in case of an emergency. Here are 10 tips to help you stay safe if you ever find yourself in a fire:
- Get out as soon as possible
The first and most important thing to do if you’re caught in a fire is to get out as quickly as possible. Don’t try to fight the fire or rescue anyone – your priority should be your own safety. This is especially true if the fire is spreading quickly or if there is a lot of smoke.
- Stay low to the ground
Smoke and heat rise, so it’s important to stay low to the ground when you’re trying to escape a fire. This will help you avoid as much smoke and heat as possible. It’s also a good idea to cover your nose and mouth with a cloth to help protect yourself from the smoke.
- Keep an escape route in mind
When you’re in a fire, it’s important to have an escape route planned out ahead of time. Make sure you know where the nearest exit is, and be prepared to run if necessary. If you can’t find an exit, look for a window or door that will lead you to safety.
- Never go back inside
Once you’ve escaped a fire, never go back inside – even if you think someone is still in there. It’s simply too dangerous to try and rescue someone when the building is on fire. Leave that to the professionals.
- Wear fireproof clothing
If you know you’re going to be in a situation where there’s a risk of fire, it’s a good idea to wear fireproof clothing. This includes items like fire-resistant gloves, pants, and jackets. These items can help protect you from heat and flames. There are also some types of fabric that are more fire-resistant than others, so if you’re buying new clothes, look for items made from these materials.
- Don’t use elevators
If you’re trying to escape a fire, never use the elevator. The elevator could stop working or get stuck between floors, and you could be trapped. Instead, use the stairs to get out of the building. This is especially important if you’re in a high-rise building.
- Don’t hide under the bed
If you’re in a room when a fire starts, don’t try to hide under the bed or in a closet. These areas can fill up with smoke quickly, and you could be trapped. When you’re trying to escape, always use the main exit to get out of the building. You should also close doors behind you to help contain the fire.
- Don’t break windows
If you’re trying to escape from a room that doesn’t have an exit, don’t try to break the window. The glass could shatter and hurt you, and the sudden influx of fresh air could cause the fire to spread more quickly. It’s better to use a piece of cloth or another item to cover the cracks around the window so you can breathe.
- Stop, drop, and roll
If your clothes catch on fire, it’s important to stop, drop, and roll. This will help put out the flames quickly. Don’t try to run – this will only fan the flames and make the fire worse.
- Call 9-1-1
If you’re in a fire, the best thing you can do is to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. This will help ensure that the proper authorities are notified and that they can respond quickly. Don’t try to fight the fire yourself – leave that to the professionals.
These are just a few of the many things you can do to stay safe if you’re ever in a fire. Remember, your priority should always be to get out of the building as quickly and safely as possible. Never go back inside, and never try to fight the fire by yourself. Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible, and wait for help to arrive.