It’s a fact of life – and unfortunately fires do happen. People who have planned in advance what to do in a fire emergency and have the determination to survive are most likely to do so. Those who deny danger and are complacent believe that fires will never happen to them, but to others. “YOU MAY BE THE NEXT OTHER!!! The two primary factors that determine fire related survivability are: (1) your awareness (how quickly you are notified there’s a fire) and (2) how you react to it.
The two simplest and most powerful things you can do to increase your chances dramatically in surviving a fire are:
Have Working Smoke Alarms.
Have an Escape Plan.
The following are actual statistics…. Don’t Become One!!
If you leave something cooking on the stove, when someone calls, “come look at this!” or when the phone rings, you may find the kitchen engulfed in flames before you return. In just six weeks, 44 fires were caused by. people. forgetting that they had left something cooking when they stopped to watch television; and this was in one small town in Massachusetts! If you smell gas and decide to turn off the lights to prevent an explosion, you may have just blown yourself up anyway. Unfortunately, not only is there a spark when a light is turned on, but also when a circuit is broken by turning it off! Remember, if you smell gas, GET OUT!
A neighbor cleaned out his fireplace and put his ashes in a paper bag, which was placed in to a plastic can. There had been no fire in that fireplace for three days, yet half the house burned down before the firefighters could get. there. Place ashes in metal cans with metal lids. One winter, 47 homes in Fairfax County, Virginia, were burned by improper disposal of fireplace ashes!
Three children ranging in age, from 8 months to seven years, died in a Brooklyn, New York house fire. According to fire authorities, the home had several smoke detectors but the batteries had been removed from each to use in battery-powered toys! It is estimated that 90% of fire related deaths among children under the age of 5 occur in homes without a functioning smoke detector. Install smoke detectors on every level of the home and test them each month. Keep spare batteries on hand.
In Pennsylvania, a mother awoke to the smell of smoke and the sound of the smoke detector at 5 am She quickly rushed two of her children out the front door of their home and raced back into the burning building to reach her small child sleeping in a second story bedroom. Unknown to her, a neighbor had gone in the backdoor, up to the child’s bedroom and had carried her out. The mother continued to search for her child in the upstairs bedroom, was overcome by smoke and died. How could this tragedy have been prevented?
A well-planned and escape plan is absolutely vital to the safety of all household members. Draw a floor plan showing at least two ways out of each room. Special consideration should be made for infants, the very old or physically impaired individuals. Have a pre-established meeting place after you leave your house. Discuss the meeting place with your neighbors. In the Pennsylvania case, a neighbor knowing where the family’s pre-established meeting place was, may have saved that woman’s
life. Remember, never re-enter a burning building!