Many movies and TV shows depict actors engaging in dramatic acts of heroism, jumping through flames to save someone or something trapped in a fire. While these scenes can serve as great entertainment, the
Too many times, responding fire departments in
"The safest option for anyone inside a building that is on fire is to get out immediately and call 9-1-1 from outside," said State Fire Marshal and Commerce & Insurance Commissioner
Fire can spread rapidly, particularly in homes, which often contain multiple, highly combustible items like furniture, bedding and curtains. Within minutes, the intense heat from fire can cause severe, life-threatening burns; the dark, black smoke it generates makes it impossible to see through, and breathing can quickly become difficult or impossible. In many cases, the individual who goes back inside becomes trapped, while the person or pet they're trying to save has escaped in the interim.
Install smoke alarms inside and outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home.
Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of each level of the home. Show all doors and windows. Go to each room and point to the two ways out. Practice the plan with everyone in your household, including visitors.
Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open. Ensure everyone in the household can unlock and open all doors and windows, even in the dark.
If the smoke alarm sounds or fire is discovered in your home, get out fast. Close doors behind you as you leave to help stop the spread of the fire.
Doors need to be tested before opening them. Use the back of your hand to see if the door is warm. If it is, use another escape route.
If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
If you are trapped, close all doors between you and the fire. Stuff the cracks around the doors with clothes or towels to keep out smoke.
Call the fire department, wait at a window and signal for help with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
Once you are out, stay out.
Call the fire department from your safe outside meeting place.
If people or pets are trapped, notify the fire department and let them handle the rescue efforts. Never go back inside for people, pets, or things.
To help create your home's escape plan, print the State Fire Marshal's home fire safety checklist and escape grid. For more home fire safety information or to download a free copy of the 2018