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Tips for Escaping a Burning Building

Close-up of fire engine hoses

No one ever wants to be in the position of needing to get out of a burning building, but it does happen. Do you know what to do if your escape route isn’t clear? Of course, if you can escape through the nearest exit, this is the wisest course of action, but that’s not always a possibility. 


Stay calm

Panic can only hurt you in this situation. Not only will you end up breathing harder and inhaling more smoke, but panic can also cause you to miss things. You need to focus on getting out and that can only be done if you stay calm. 


Evaluate the situation

Don’t just run out of your current room, as you could be running right into the fire. First, touch the doorknob or the door and see if it’s hot. If so, the fire is likely on the other side of the door and you shouldn’t attempt to open the door. You can put clothing or other soft items at the bottom of the door to prevent smoke from creeping in. 


If the door is still cool, you should stand to one side and crouch down, then carefully and slowly open the door. Only leave it open if you are certain there is no fire immediately outside. Check to see whether or not the way is clear to an exit. 


Don’t use the lift

If you get to the hallway of an apartment building, you must use the stairs. Lifts are dangerous to use in a fire and can cause you to become trapped in a burning building. Instead, you should use the stairs.


Sometimes, the stairs aren’t clear either, in which case, return to your room, preferably with an outside window. Close the door and stuff items under it to prevent smoke from coming in.


Have alternative routes planned

You should have more than one escape route planned. It may be possible to get out onto a balcony or through a window. You should not try to jump if you’re higher than the second storey, however. 


Should you open a door or window outside, make sure you have all other doors closed to prevent the fire from rushing in. The fresh air and draught can cause smoke and fire to be pulled into the room if the door is open. 


It’s not always possible to escape out a window, but you will be more visible to rescue operations who come in from the outside. They will have the equipment to help you out. So, if you can’t escape your space safely, keep the cracks sealed as much as possible, drape yourself in a wet sheet or blanket if you can and wait for rescue near a window. You may use bright-coloured cloths or a flashlight to alert rescue workers to your location. 


Remember to stay low in the event of a fire to avoid inhaling too much smoke. 


If you’re worried about a fire, EK Fire Protection can evaluate your home and ensure you have the proper fire protection in place. Get in touch today to find out more about our services.

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