How to Survive a House Fire

Safety Tips and Planning Suggestions

There’s very little that’s less terrifying than the thought of all of your worldly possessions going up in flames if your home catches fire.

The scariest part is that fires don’t always start from things like unattended candles or fireplaces – these can happen because of faulty electrical wiring, outside interference or even a malfunctioning appliance like an iron, toaster or even a cell phone charger. 

Luckily for homeowners, it is possible to prepare for a fire, as well as to take precautions against them happening in the first place. 

Not only should you prepare your home in case of an emergency like a fire, you should prepare the other people that live with you, too. Knowing how to survive a house fire is about more than being able to remove yourself from the path of the flames and the present smoke, it’s also about knowing what will be necessary to move forward after – and  throughout the recovery and rebuilding process. 

Fire Safety Tips for the Home 

  1. Be sure to store all important items like personal documents, spare keys, financial information and even jewelry or back-up computer drives in fireproof boxes. This way, if you find that you must evacuate your home in a hurry, you can grab for the truly irreplaceable items like pets, purses, and other family members instead of digging around beneath the bed or in a closet for this type of container. 
How to survive a house fire - fireproof box

Knowing that once you’re able to sort through the aftermath it will still exist can make leaving these boxes behind initially less stressful. 

  1. Have a fire escape plan. This means being on the same page with other family members and those living with you about where you will go and what you will do in the event of a fire. This doesn’t have to be actual written down plans, but ensuring that you know where to go and who/what to look for after leaving your home can help. 

Understanding – and even practicing – where to go during a fire can lead to less confusion if it actually happens. 

  1. Ensure that fire safety equipment is in working condition. This means checking all batteries in the smoke detectors within the home, being sure that your fire extinguisher is in working order and easily accessible, and that you have things like ladders in the upper floors of your home that are ready to be put into windows should the need arise. Many fire deaths could be avoided with the use of these three types of items, so having them handy can help you and your family avoid becoming statistics. 
How to survive a house fire - statistics

How to Survive a House Fire Once It’s Already Been Lit

The previous tips will help you prepare before there is any flame present within the home, but what happens when there is a fire and you need to react in order to survive? It’s still about being prepared, but you will also need to be sure that you stay as calm as possible while leaving your home. 

  • Though it will be tempting to simply sprint from the home without looking back, you’ll need to be careful as you leave. This means checking doors and door knobs for heat before opening them, being cautious when moving down dark hallways, and ensuring that rooms are not smoke or flame filled before entering them.
  • Stay low to the ground. You were probably taught as a child that smoke will rise. This means that when necessary, you may have to crawl along the floor – or maybe even crouch – in order to get safely from the home. This is the best place to search for clean, good air, and can keep you thinking more clearly as you attempt to escape from your home.
  • Taking a few seconds to wet a piece of fabric in order to put it over your mouth and nose is a fire safety tip that may save countless lives. This extra barrier between you and the smoke can help to keep your throat moist as well as to keep the smoke from seeping through it as easily. 
How to survive - smoke damage

The most important thing to remember after leaving your home because of a fire is that you should not – under any circumstances – attempt to go back into a burning building, even for something like a pet or a family member. While you will obviously want to ensure that everyone is safe, as each second passes, the fire will do more damage to the home’s structure, making it more dangerous. 

Possessions can be replaced – lives cannot. 

When they arrive on scene, fire crews will be able to assess the situation much more accurately than you will, and they can make the call about whether or not it is safe to re-enter a burning home. 

Being able to survive a house fire is all about taking control of the things that you can control and learning from the best

You can’t always prevent faulty wiring or make sure that people fully extinguish candles or matches, and you definitely cannot prevent power surges or natural disasters, but the more you plan, the better off you will be. There are many different kinds of fire prevention resources that you should take a look at while developing your fire safety plan, but the most important thing you can focus on what is best for your unique situation. 

fire safety - electrical

The more prepared you are before a fire breaks out, the better off you will be if you ever experience this type of situation and need to work through the aftermath to rebuild your life. To learn more about how to protect and update your home for more than just fire safety, check out the Water Freedom System, which can save you time, money and energy within your home. 

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