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Plan your escape!
During a fire, there's no time for planning. Sit down with your family and create a plan for escaping from a fire.
Draw a floor-plan of your home, mark two ways to exit every room - especially sleeping areas. Discuss the escape routes with every member of your household.
Agree on a meeting place outside your home where everyone will gather after escaping to wait for the fire department. This allows you to know that everyone got out. Advise the fire department if anyone is trapped inside the burning building.
Practice your escape plan at least two times a year. Have a fire drill in your home. Appoint someone to be monitor and have everyone participate. Get out quickly, but carefully.
Make your exit drill realistic. Pretend that some exits are on fire and practice alternative escape routes. Pretend that the lights are out and that some escape routes are filling with smoke.
Make sure everyone in the household can unlock all doors and windows quickly, even in the dark. Windows or doors with security bars need to be equipped with quick-release devices and everyone in the household should know how to use them.
If you live in an apartment building, use stairways to escape. Never use an elevator during a fire. It may stop between floors or take you to a floor where the fire is burning.
If you live in a two-story house, and you must escape from a second-story window, be sure there is a safe way to reach the ground. Make special arrangements for children, older adults, and people with disabilities. People who have difficulty moving should have a phone in their sleeping area and, if possible, should sleep on the ground floor.
Test doors before opening them. While kneeling or crouching at the door, reach up as high as you can and touch the door, the knob, and the space between the door and its frame with the back of your hand. If the door is hot, use another escape route. If the door is cool, open it with caution.
If you are trapped, close all doors between you and the fire. Stuff the cracks around the doors to keep out smoke. Wait at a window and signal for help with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight. If there's a phone in the room, call the fire department and tell them exactly where you are.
Get Out Fast...
In case of fire, don't stop for anything. Do not try to rescue possessions or pets. Go directly to your meeting place and then call the fire department from a neighbor's phone or an alarm box. Every member of your household should know how to call the fire department.
Crawl low under smoke. Smoke contains deadly gases, and heat rises. During a fire, cleaner air will be near the floor. If you encounter smoke when using your primary exit, use your alternate escape plan. If you must exit through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees, keeping your head 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 centimeters) above the floor.
Once your out Stay out
Once you are out of your home don't go back for any reason. If people are trapped, the firefighters have the best chance of rescuing them. The heat and smoke of a fire are overwhelming. Firefighters have the training, experience, and protective equipment needed to enter burning buildings.