Fire escape planning
Your fire escape plan should be specific to your home or workplace. Consider the following factors when developing your plan:
- The number of people who live or work in the building.
- The location of the exits.
- Any special needs that residents or employees may have.
- The layout of the building and any potential hazards.
Once you have developed your fire escape plan, practice it with your family or coworkers regularly. This will help everyone know what to do in the event of a fire.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every level of your home or workplace, including bedrooms and sleeping areas. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so that if one alarm goes off, all of the alarms in the building will sound.
Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed near bedrooms and sleeping areas because carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can build up in your home if your furnace or other appliance is not working properly.
Fire extinguishers should be placed near exit routes and in areas where flammable materials are stored. If you do use a fire extinguisher, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Candles, space heaters, and other flammable items
Candles, space heaters, and other flammable items should be used with caution and never left unattended. If you are using a candle, make sure it is in a sturdy holder and away from flammable materials. Space heaters should be placed on a level surface and away from furniture and bedding.
Teaching children how to escape from a fire
Children should be taught how to escape from a fire at a young age. Teach them to stay low and crawl through smoke. They should also know where to meet you outside the building.
If you live or work in a high-rise building, it is important to know the evacuation procedures. Find out where the fire stairs are located and how to get to the ground floor quickly and safely.
Smoke hoods are portable devices that provide oxygen and filter smoke. They can be worn to escape from a fire safely. Smoke hoods are available at most hardware stores.
Escaping through smoke
If you have to escape through smoke, crawl low and use your hands to feel your way along the walls. Smoke rises, so the air is cleaner closer to the ground.
Signaling for help
More about fire safety in high-rise buildings
High-rise buildings pose unique fire safety challenges. Smoke and flames can spread quickly through stairwells, making it difficult to escape. In addition, high-rise buildings often have many occupants, which can make evacuation more challenging.
Here are some additional fire safety tips for high-rise buildings:
- Know your evacuation plan. Find out where the fire stairs are located and how to get to the ground floor quickly and safely.
- If you are trapped in a room, close the door and cover the bottom gap with a blanket or rug. This will help to slow the spread of smoke and flames.
- If you have to escape through smoke, crawl low and use your hands to feel your way along the walls. Smoke rises, so the air is cleaner closer to the ground.
- If you are trapped on a balcony, wave a white cloth or towel to signal for help. You can also use your cell phone to fire department.
Using a smoke hood
Smoke hoods can be a valuable tool for escaping from a fire in a high-rise building. Smoke hoods provide oxygen and filter smoke, allowing you to breathe safely.
To use a smoke hood:
- Put on the smoke hood and seal the edges around your face.
- Breathe normally.
- Crawl low and use your hands to feel your way along the walls.
Staying safe on a balcony
If you are trapped on a balcony in a high-rise building, there are a few things you can do to stay safe:
- Stay calm and assess the situation.
- Wave a white cloth or towel to signal for help.
- If the fire department is not able to reach you quickly, try to lower yourself to the ground using a bed sheet or other sturdy rope.
Fire safety is important in all buildings, but it is especially important in high-rise buildings. By following the tips above, you can help to ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones in the event of a fire.