Safety – Evacuating Your Family During a Fire

Fire is fast, make no mistake about it. In less than thirty seconds a small fire can turn into a major fire, and within a minute and a half a home can become consumed with fire. Fire is hot. At floor level temperatures can be one-hundred degrees, at ceiling level temperatures can be six-hundred degrees. Fire is dark. The smoke from fire quickly creates complete darkness. Fire is deadly. Most home fire deaths happen because of asphyxiation, not burns.

Every second counts when your family faces the threat of fire in the home. And while we can certainly help you recover, clean, and repair your home after a fire, nobody can replace the most valuable things, your family’s life itself. Therefore, we urge you to prepare for fire before one happens.

Critical elements for surviving a home fire

Three critical elements will help you and your family survive a fire in the home:

  • Knowledge
  • Escape plan
  • Dual sensor smoke alarms

Fire survival knowledge

  • When fire strikes remember to keep low to the floor when you escape. Smoke, toxic gases, and heat will collect near the ceiling.
  • If you encounter a door while escaping, touch the doorknob to feel for heat. If there is heat or you see smoke coming out from the door sides do not open it. Use your secondary escape route.
  • Open a door slowly and be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone who needs help, leave the home and call 911 and tell the operator where the person is located.
  • If you can’t escape the home, close your room door and seal the vents with clothing, cloth, or tape. Call 911 and stay where you are and signal at the window with a light or a light-colored cloth.
  • If your clothes catch fire don’t run. Instead stop, drop, and roll. Roll over back and forth until the flames are out. Smother flames with a blanket or towel.
  • Teach small children not to hide from firefighters.

Have a fire escape plan

During a fire, panic is dangerous. Preplanning escape routes will help keep heads clear, so they know what to do. Your plan should include two ways to exit each room in the house. Planning also lets you see things like needing a collapsible ladder or other tool to help someone leave a burning room. Make sure everyone knows a gathering spot outside the home so you can do a headcount and make sure everyone got out.

Having the plan is good, but it’s better if you practice it a few times. You want the exercise to be second nature to everyone so when the time comes, they don’t think, they just act.

Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms are the first line of defense in home fires. Recommendations are an alarm in every sleeping area, at the top of stairs, and on every level of the house. The alarms should be interconnected so if one goes off, they all do. They should also be dual voltage, battery backed. Recent designs include alarms with features for assisting special needs individuals.

Be sure to choose alarms with both photoelectric and ionization detection. Also, be sure to mount the alarms high on the ceiling and test them at least twice a year.

RestorePro can restore your home, but we can’t restore you

We hope you take these steps to heart and make an escape plan for your home. The most valuable assets any of us have is our family, possessions and things can be fixed or replaced.

We’ve made it our sincere business to help families put their homes back together after fire for over twenty years. If you need restoration or remediation services due to a fire please contact us in Massachusetts at 781-664-9800, 603-253-2068 in New Hampshire, or 1-800-847-0014 nationally.