Nobody wants to experience a house fire. It’s a devastating event that can destroy your home, your valued possessions, and even kill loved ones. That’s why it’s essential to take precautions and reduce the number of house fires experienced each year.
Today you should ensure that your house has working smoke alarms, at least one on each level, these don’t prevent fire but they buy you time to get safely out.
You should also consider an escape plan and installing fire curtains, these can help to contain a fire. Again, this will buy you time to get out.
Most importantly, you should make sure that everyone in your house knows what to do if there is a fire:
1. Wake the House
It’s a strange fact but the majority of fires seem to occur at night, hence the need for smoke alarms to wake you. If the smoke alarm goes off at night you should immediately awake all members of your family.
It may be a false alarm but it may not be. Your family should ensure they have clothes on to go outside, but they shouldn’t take anything else with them. At this stage, you need to identify the source of the fire.
If it’s small you can try to extinguish it with your fire extinguisher. But, don’t put yourself at risk doing this.
2. Call The Fire Brigade
The great thing about a mobile phone is that you can call the fire brigade as soon as you realize the fire is too large for you to tackle. The sooner you call the fire brigade the quicker they can be with you. They may be able to save part of your home and you’ll increase the likelihood of getting anyone trapped out alive.
3. Shut Off Electricity & Gas
Gas and electricity cause fires to spread rapidly and even cause explosions. You should know where the shut off valves are for your gas and the main electrical switch.
Once you’ve established that the fire is too big for you to handle you need to be getting out. But, if you can safely shut off the gas and electricity before you go, then do so.
Again, the key here is safety, you can’t put yourself at risk to turn off the power.
4. Get Out
Get out! Everyone in the house should know how to get out in the event of a fire and where to meet. Take your nearest safe exit and head to the meeting point. The rest of your family should already be there.
Don’t forget, if a door is closed and you don’t know if a fire is on the other side, touch the door handle with the back of your hand. If it’s hot then there is probably a fire on the other side of the door, you should choose a different route out.
5. Stay Out
This can be one of the hardest things to do. Once you’re out you need to stay out; Running back in for personal belongings is never a good idea and can get you killed.
Get out and stay out, let the professionals do their job.