Plan Ahead For Emergencies
Talk to someone about what you should do in case of fire. Your family,
friends, the fire department or a social service agency should help you develop an escape
plan you can practice. Be sure to practice with the people who live nearby. Their
assistance and correct actions may be critical in helping you successfully escape a fire.
Here are some ideas...
Live Near an Exit
If you live in an apartment, try to occupy one on the ground floor. If you're in a
two-story house, arrange to sleep on the first floor, and be sure to have a telephone by
your bed. Being closer to the ground and an exit will facilitate your escape in a fire. If
necessary, have a ramp constructed for emergency exits.
Install Smoke Detectors
Working detectors can mean the critical difference in a fire. Test your alarms monthly and
change batteries at least once a year.
Know the Number
Memorize the fire department number and tape it to all your telephones. Make sure your
home is clearly numbered and, if you have a disability, you might let the fire department
know about your special needs. In case of fire, always get out first, if you can, then
call the fire department. If you are trapped inside, give the dispatcher your exact room
Plan Your Escape
Know two ways out of every room. If one is a window, know how to open it and make sure it
opens easily. If you live in an apartment, know where the exit stairs are. Never take an
elevator - it might take you to the fire!
What To Do In Case of A Fire...
Get Out, Stay Out
Go as quickly as possible, leaving all possessions behind, and never go back in - you
might not get back out. Call the fire department from outside.
Crawl Low in Smoke
If you can, crawl low while you exit. Smoke rises and cleaner air is nearer the floor.
Stop, Drop and Roll
If your clothes catch fire, let yourself down and roll. This will smother the fire. If you
have physical limitations, someone else may need to smother the fire with a blanket or
rug. Fanning the flames with your hands will not help, in fact, your hands may be severely
Cool a Burn
Your best first aid is cool water which helps prevent further skin damage. Keep running
cool water on burns until the pain stops. Salve or butter only traps in heat. If charred
skin or blisters appear, seek medical attention immediately.
Keep Doors Closed
Always sleep with your bedroom door closed, making sure the smoke alarm is audible or that
you have an emergency light to alert you. If you hear your detector alarm, smell smoke or
suspect fire, feel the door. If hot, try your other exit; if not, slowly open it but be
prepared to close it if smoke or flames rush in.
You Are Trapped
closed doors between you and the fire. Stuff cracks and cover vents to
keep smoke out. If there is a phone in the room, call the fire
department and let them know you are trapped. Give them your exact
location. Keeping low, put a wet cloth over your nose and wait at the
window, signaling with a sheet or flashlight. Do not break
sure all plugs and cords are in good condition, and repair or replace
any worn or broken appliances.
Be especially careful in lighting matches or using the stove. Wear
close-fitting sleeves when you cook. If a pan catches fire, smother it
with a lid.
Space Heaters Space
space heaters at least three feet from everything - especially you. A
slight brush against certain models could cause a clothing fire.
Always have large, deep ashtrays around for smokers. And do not empty
ashes into wastebaskets until they're soaked in water. Check upholstered
furniture for dropped cigarettes or matches. And never smoke in bed or
while on medication that might cause drowsiness.