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Fire Safety

photograph from Family story

(before 2003)

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Everyone needs to know how to prevent a fire. It is also important to know what to do when it breaks out.

Every year, over 11,000 people are killed or injured in house fires. These fires could have been avoided. Smokers who are careless cause about 200 deaths and over 6,000 fires. More than half of those who die in fires are poisoned or suffocated by smoke.

Be aware of how quickly a spark or flame can become deadly. It can take away the air you need to breathe. It can make so much smoke that it can kill someone in seconds, faster than the fire itself.

If fire breaks out, do not attempt to fight the fire unless it is small. Try putting out a small fire with water. If the fire has spread or if the flames are more than 20 inches high, shut the door on it. Alert everyone else in the building and tell them to get out. You should leave and dial 911 for the fire department.

Before going into a room, check the door. If the handle or the door is hot, do not open it! Instead put clothing or a wet towel at the bottom of it to keep smoke out. If the door is not hot, open it slowly. If there's a rush of smoke or heat, close it again and shout to alert others inside.

Now open the window and shout ''Fire!" See whether you can drop safely to the ground. Use this as your escape route if you can. If you are not on ground level, break your fall by pushing a mattress out first. Lower yourself at arm's length before dropping. Once outside, stay outside and make sure the fire department is called.

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