In This Article
- How Quickly a Fire Spreads
- How to Approach Fires
- 1. Evacuate
- 2. Extinguish
- 3. Call 911
- How do I avoid fires from spreading?
- 1. Have a Fire Safety Plan
- 2. Have a Fire Extinguisher Ready
- 3. Don’t Block Fire Exits
- 4. Shut Off Power
- 5. Keep an eye out for roof fires
- Tips to Prepare
- Where to Place Fire Alarms
- Prevent Children and Pets from Getting Burnt
- First Things to Do In the Case of a Fire
- How to Fix a Kitchen Fire
- Last Word
There’s no denying that fire is one of those things we hope never to have to deal with in our lifetime. But while it’s something we as humans can survive, many people go through the process without understanding what you should do.
That is why it’s crucial to know what you should do if you find yourself in a situation where a fire breaks out near you. In this article, we look at how you can survive a fire, whether in your home or the wilderness.
Let’s dive right in
How Quickly a Fire Spreads
If you find yourself in a situation where a fire breaks out, you should get out one of the first things you should do. But, how quickly can fires spread? According to Fire Research Laboratory findings, it only takes .25 seconds for the flames from a candle to spread one foot.
In contrast to this, it takes 30 minutes for a flammable liquid to catch on fire. That’s why fires are capable of spreading very quickly regardless of characteristics and size.
How to Approach Fires
Fires are known to spread fast due in large part to the oxygen that feeds them. This oxygen is given off by all combustible materials, as well as anything that’s pumping out heat. Thus, you should take steps to stop the spread of any fire immediately.
It’s crucial to know that fires can spread very quickly, and if you don’t take action immediately, it will be too late. If you see smoke billowing from a building or a house, evacuate immediately.
By doing so, you will avoid many different types of health problems, including breathing in smoke and carbon monoxide poisoning, for example. In addition to this, the number one cause of fire deaths is being burnt by smoke inhalation resulting from not evacuating in time.
1a. What if You're on Fire
Fire on your clothing is always a concern, but it is also very avoidable.
The first way to avoid getting burned is by not wearing anything with a loose weave (wool, cotton, or nylon). This will help prevent the heat from escaping and making your garment react more quickly.
The fabric weave should be tight enough to retain heat but not so tight that it blocks any airflow through the garment. Next, make sure you don’t wear anything made of an extreme material such as flammable silk or polyester unless you are in a fire-safe area.
If you happen to get on fire, make sure that you stop, drop, and roll or dive to the ground. If there is any possibility of spreading the fire, you should try to smother it with a pillow or blanket.
If you cannot do so, then make sure that your clothing is wet to help stop the spread of fire. If you cannot put out the flame yourself, try yelling for help from anywhere nearby, and if no one responds, then jump into a body of water.
If the fire is manageable, you should take steps to extinguish a fire as soon as possible. This can be done by making use of a fire extinguisher, or in some cases. You can dump water on it (you should never use water on grease fires. Use a fire extinguisher instead).
The best way to do this is to first get the flames out by placing chemicals on them, then drenching them with water.
However, it would help if you were careful since sufficient amounts of water have the potential of causing structural collapse due to how suddenly it adds weight to materials. In such instances, sand or dirt may be used instead.
Learn more about the best fire extinguisher and essential tips.
3. Call 911
If you know there is no escape for yourself or someone else in an under-controlled blaze, and there isn’t anything that can be used to put it out immediately, call 911 immediately! This can only be done in cases where immediate action is required.
However, if you’re outside the burning building and can do so, you should also call 911. In this case, the 911 operator can track your progress, and rescue workers can arrive faster. This allows everyone to be safe!
How do I avoid fires from spreading?
In addition to knowing how to handle a raging fire, it’s essential to know some steps that can be taken to prevent it from spreading.
1. Have a Fire Safety Plan
By having a plan in place, you can easily prepare for the worst when it comes to fires. If you have pets in your house, or children for that matter, you should notify them of the safest place to go in your house.
If you work different shifts or have someone at home alone at night, they should have an escape plan.
This could be checking on neighbors to ensure that their houses aren’t burning or making sure that they’re aware of the easiest way out of their houses if a fire were to start.
You should also practice this escape plan with everyone who lives in your house and check for any potential issues.
2. Have a Fire Extinguisher Ready
Fires can cause serious problems in homes in addition to buildings or large public spaces. In the event of a fire, you should make sure that you have a fire extinguisher on standby.
These are available at most hardware stores or all-purpose stores, and they’re fairly inexpensive.
If you lose the power before your exit, fire extinguishers can create enough heat and pressure to put out fires safely before they can spread too far. In our Best Fire Extinguisher for Home Use article, we go over the absolute best fire extinguisher you should have in your home to quickly stop a fire.
3. Don’t Block Fire Exits
Again, you should move to a safe area with an open path to the exit in the event of a fire. If you happen to end up on a different floor due to the direction of your evacuation, you should always look for stairs rather than taking elevators or jumping out of windows.
This is because the heat could melt cables or cause them to break and create a risk of falling.
Furthermore, jumping out of windows can result in injury since most windows are around 4 feet above the ground. By using stairs instead, you can avoid getting injured and still have time to get out in time.
4. Shut Off Power
After you called 911, you should do when evacuating a burning building is to shut off the power before exiting. This is because it can spark and cause fires to spread even faster than before.
If you aren’t certain how to shut it off, you should ask someone who works at that location or check a nearby house. If they don’t know how to do it, you may also ask someone who works for the electric company.
5. Keep an eye out for roof fires
If you have a second-story terrace or deck area in your home or apartment with an attic space above it, then you should make sure that there are no fires on the roof of your house or building.
If you see smoke coming from any of those areas, then you should quickly call 911 and use an extinguisher on the fire. By doing this, you can prevent it from spreading and instead put it out before it spreads.
Remember that a fire should only be treated as a serious problem when there’s no other way of putting it out! Luckily, most fires can be put out within minutes with proper handling and prevention.
If they are not, however, then you should act quickly in order to prevent damage to your home or building using the strategies above (like a fire extinguisher).
Tips to Prepare
Where to Place Fire Alarms
Fire alarms should be installed in key locations throughout your house such as near bedrooms and exits.
These are the areas that you will most likely have to stop a fire and get out as quickly as possible. You should also be having smoke alarms on every level of your home, your kitchen, and every bedroom.
Prevent Children and Pets from Getting Burnt
Some children often do not understand the risks of a fire or the real danger they put themselves into by playing with small fires or matches. Teach them early how to avoid dangerous areas and how to never play with matches. Furthermore, it would help if you got proper identification tags for your pet.
It’s also important to pick up your pets quickly and get them out of the house as quickly as possible if they ever get loose. Most pets will know how to crawl under furniture or furniture that reaches chest-level high.
This means that most animals are at a higher risk of dying in a fire than we might think. That is why you should get proper identification tags and training for your pets and children.
First Things to Do In the Case of a Fire
If your home catches on fire, then it’s important to get yourself and your family members together before heading to an exit that is properly marked, or extinguish it if the fire has not spread to multiple rooms. If you have pets, it is best to let them out or find them a safe place to stay.
If there is an exit on your property, then make sure that everyone makes their way there as quickly as possible. The last thing you want to do is run into traffic trying to reach an exit that could otherwise be avoided entirely.
If you cannot safely make your way outside of a burning building, it’s better not to jump out of the windows or doors that are blocked by any smoke or fire.
Instead, move higher up in the building and find a room with no smoke or fire at all. If you are a high-risk occupant of the building, then your landlord should help relocate you to a safe space away from the fire before it’s too late.
How to Fix a Kitchen Fire
Kitchen fires are the most common type of fire, often with confusion on how to resolve it.
If you have started a grease fire, the absolute worst thing you can do is throw water on it, and the same with many other cooking products. Throwing water on a grease fire will cause the fire to become massive, as shown in the video above.
The easiest way to stop a grease fire is to put a lid on the pan. You can also use a fire extinguisher to stop a grease fire. Most kitchen fires can be prevented with a fire extinguisher.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to handle a fire should it happen in your home or building. If you follow the above-mentioned steps, then you should be able to limit damage when a fire starts.
If you ever find yourself having trouble putting out an electrical fire, then use a dry chemical fire extinguisher instead of an ordinary one.
No matter what kind of fire extinguisher you have on hand, it’s important to make sure that everyone understands how to properly use them in case of emergencies.
Knowing what each type of extinguisher does can help save lives and property from fires that occur outside of your home or building as well.
Also be sure to check out some of our other articles, if you liked this one:
- 7 Tornado Survival Tips to Be More Ready
- 5 Earthquake Survival Tips You Should Know ASAP
- 7 Simple Survival Shelters You Have to Know
- Flood Survival Tips You Should Know To Be Safer