Fire emergency survival tips
September 11, 2009 by Bob Livingston
As wildfires are raging in California it may be useful to keep some survival tips in mind, as fire is a type of emergency that can happen anywhere and anytime.
As with most emergencies, prevention is the best way to start. While some types of fire disasters may be better prevented by smoke detectors than others, it is always a good idea to install one at home as they have helped prevent loss of life. Installing fire extinguishers is also good practice.
Each household should have a fire emergency plan and conduct periodic drills to keep the escape plan fresh in mind. All members should know how to use fire extinguishers, know their way out of the house, have emergency phone numbers and working cell phones handy, and know where to meet afterward.
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) says that during a fire emergency, it is important to crawl low in smoke towards the nearest exit covering the mouth with a cloth and once outside never go back. Moreover, tall buildings should be evacuated via stairs not elevators, which can act as chimneys during fire.
When smoke is spotted, OEM says, it is crucial to leave the property first and then dial 911 as most people die from smoke inhalation and not from flames.
As many fires start in the kitchen, the source also suggests keeping combustible items away from the cooking area, and never pour water on grease fires. Rather, use a fire extinguisher or put a lid over the burning pan.
Those who live in areas prone to wildfires should take care to landscape the grounds properly and fireproof all buildings.