Time is your biggest enemy when escaping from a burning building. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and can turn into a major fire.
Proper planning may mean the difference between life and death. When creating a fire escape plan, incorporate the following elements:
- Use the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, the doorknob and the crack between the door and the frame to make sure that the fire is not directly outside. If the door feels hot, use a secondary exit. If the door feels cool, brace yourself against it and open it slowly.
- Do not waste any time trying to save your personal property. Instead, take the safest exit route. It may also be helpful to have important documents gathered in a convenient location to grab quickly on your way to safety.
- If you must escape through smoke, crawl low under the smoke and cover your mouth.
- Establish a meeting place outside of the home where everyone knows to go once they are safely out. Designate one person to go to a neighbour’s house to call the fire department.
- Never go back into a burning home for any reason.
Every member of your family should practice the escape plan each month both in the light and in the dark so that everyone knows how to get out of the house.