How to Save Your Life in a House Fire

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Knowing how to react fast in a house fire can save your life and the lives of those you love. Here are some guidelines to follow.


•  Keep the phone number of your local fire department clearly posted near all telephones in the house. (Try to memorize the number, in case you have to use a neighbor’s phone.) Use 911! where the service is available.

•  Prearrange a plan for family members to follow in case of fire. Conduct fire drills using your escape route.

•  If you live in a two-story house, purchase and install an emergency escape ladder and practice using it.

•  If a fire breaks out, don’t stop to collect personal possessions. Get people out of the house!

•  If you can’t get to within 10 to 12 feet of a fire, you can assume it’s too big to handle on your own. Call the fire department immediately. (Call them for small fires, too.)

•  If you try to put out the fire, make sure you can get to an exit. Don’t back yourself into a corner.

•  Smother a fire thoroughly and keep it covered so it doesn’t ignite again. The fire department will determine if the fire has been contained or if it has spread.

•  If you fail to extinguish the fire and smoke is accumulating, get out of the house quickly!

Poisonous gases and smoke are often more dangerous than flames. (Smoke rises, so remember to “stay low and go.” Crawl if you must. And if you can, place a wet towel over your face to filter out smoke and fumes.)

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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