5 Things To Do in a House Fire


You wake up in the middle of the night to the alarm of your smoke detectors. You can smell smoke and see it coming under your bedroom door. In this moment of panic, you might think of your family, your possessions, or your fear of what is happening, but do you know what to do next?

Are you prepared for the worst case scenario? Here are five things to do if you are ever caught in a house fire.

Get Out ASAP

As soon as you hear a smoke detector go off, smell smoke, or see fire, get out as soon as possible. If it seems like a small fire you might be tempted to try and put it out yourself, but what seems controllable can soon turn disastrous; if it is not something that can be put out immediately, evacuate. Don’t waste any time trying to gather valuables or things you think you might need; the time it takes to do so could cost your life.

Prevent Smoke Inhalation

More often than not, smoke inhalation will kill you before than an actual fire will. While there is nothing to make you immune to smoke inhalation, you can slow the symptoms by covering your mouth and nose with a wet cloth. Again, do not spend too much valuable time creating a mask if there is a path to safety. If you find yourself trapped, however, preventing smoke inhalation could save your life until you are rescued.

Isolate Yourself from the Fire

Fire Departments encourage that you sleep with the bedroom door closed, and for good reason. You can tell if a fire is close if you can see smoke coming under the door, or if the door is hot (remember to touch the door with the back of your hand!). If you can see a fire outside your door and cannot escape, be sure to close the door before escaping through the window. An influx of oxygen from the window can pull the fire towards you and cause serious damage if you have not isolated yourself first.

Hunker Down

If you are trapped by the fire and cannot escape through a window, hunker down until you are rescued. Close the gap under the door with any kind of cloth or fabric. If any vents are bringing in oxygen, block them off too. Make a wet cloth to breath through, and signal emergency personnel outside by flashing lights or waving a bedsheet or fabric outside the window.

Be Prepared

The best way to prevent a house fire is to be prepared beforehand. Take care of any fire hazards, including rags, newspapers, or dry brush that can spontaneously combust. Create an escape plan with your family. Stay updated on electrical systems, appliances, and fire extinguishers. Preparation is not a guarantee, but it is the best thing you can do to deter tragedy from striking your home.

Source: Neighborhood Link - Sabrina Robinson
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