Fires can break out any moment, whether it’s the middle of the day or the wee hours of the morning. There is no such thing as a perfect protection against fire, that’s why home owners should be vigilant at all times and monitor fire hazards regularly.
Some people think that installing smoke detectors is enough. WRONG. Although smoke detectors notify you when smoke or fire is detected, it is also important to set up other fire protection mechanisms like sprinkler systems, fire doors and fire exits. It is also crucial to regularly test and maintain these installations to make sure they are working 100% when you need them to be.
But, do you know what to do when your smoke detector goes off?
First of all, do not panic. Make sure it’s your smoke alarm that’s actually going off instead of other alarms.Giving in to panic will not only hinder your movement, it also wastes precious seconds that could’ve been used for escaping.
Next, don’t inhale the smoke. If you think the actual flames are the most dangerous thing during fires, then you’re in for a hot surprise. Smoke is the number one killer during fires because it spreads fast and high toxicity.
To avoid inhaling smoke, get low on the ground or on the floor and crawl your way out. If the alarm goes off at night, don’t sit up immediately because you might be lifting your head right into smoke and hot gases. Roll off to the floor first, get your bearings and assess the situation.
Once you’re on the floor, find your escape immediately. Remember where the closest fire exit is (remember your evacuation plan?)and crawl towards it.If it’s blocked or if the way is on fire, go for the next best option. You can also use windows as exits (as long you’re not on a high place). And don’t forget to call for help. Call the nearest fire station or other emergency numbers.
Head to the designated assembly area – it could be the parking lot or a yard outside. And don’t go back in no matter what. If a family member is trapped inside, notify the fire personnel so they can rescue him or her.
Having sufficient fire protection system and a solid emergency plan can help minimise casualties of fire. Take the time to sit down with your family and discuss what you have to do when the alarm goes off. A little planning can mean the difference between life and death.