When Fire Strikes
Some Safety Suggestions:
- Get Out
Fire grows at amazing speed. If a fire starts, just get out quickly. Don’t stop for anything. Once you are safely outside, call the Fire Department. Know two ways out of every room. Smoke or flames may block one way. Stay Out. Call 911 from a cell phone or from a neighbor.
- Crawl Low
If you encounter smoke while escaping, use your second way out. If you must escape through smoke, crawl or get as low as you can. More breathable air will be near the ground under the smoke.
- Before You Open a Door
Test the door to determine if the fire is on the other side. If you encounter smoke while escaping, use your second way out. If you must escape through smoke, crawl or get as low as you can. More breathable air will be near the ground under the smoke. Before opening a door, make sure there is no fire on the other side. Reach up high, and use the back of your hand to touch the door, the doorknob, and the space between the door and the frame. If any of these feel hot, use your second way out. If everything feels cool, open the door carefully so that you can slam it shut if heat or smoke rushes in.
- Stop, Drop, and Roll
If your clothes catch fire, do not run. Drop to the ground, and roll over and over to smother the flames, covering your face with your hands. If your disability would prevent you from doing this, then try to keep a fire-resistant blanket or rug nearby, which, in case of a fire, you or someone else could use to smother the flames. Do not try to smother flames with your hands. Cool the burn with water and call for help.
- If You Are Trapped
If you cannot get out safely, close all doors between you and the fire and smoke. Stuff cracks around doors and cover all vents to keep smoke out. If there is a telephone in the room or you have a cell phone with you, call 911, report the fire, and tell them exactly where you are trapped. If possible, signal by waving a light-colored cloth.
- Take Burns Seriously
Burns are often more serious than they originally appear. Run cool water over a burn for 10 to 15 minutes. Never apply ice. Never put butter or any other grease on a burn. They trap the heat in the skin. If the burned skin blisters or is charred, see a doctor immediately. Inform your doctor about burns that begin to look infected.