Survival Week: How to Survive a Burning Home

Survival Week: Surviving a burning house

What would you do if you woke up to smoke-filled room? 
 
According to the National Fire Protection Association, seven people die in home fires in the U.S each day. 
 
So how can you make sure you make it out alive? Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary tells us the first chance you have of survival, is in your working smoke alarm. In fact, Zackary said your chances of survival are about 50% higher with an alarm.  
 
"We had fire fatality last year where there were not working smoke alarms, they had been taken down and sat on the shelf," said Zackary. "Even though they may be a nuisance, it’s still imperative that it be put back in order, working condition, and available just in case there is a fire."
 
Next, if you do wake up to smoke, stay down. There may be smoke along the way out, so drop to your hands and knees and crawl. 
 
"The more breathable air is down low, so it’s important that you don’t get out of bed and breathe in that air," said Zackary. "You need to stay low, crawl out , and stay out."
 
Then, Zackary said, know your exit points. 
 
"The primary way out would be the bedroom door. Before you exit, touch the door with the back of your hand," he said. "If it's not hot, proceed."
 
But, if there is smoke or heat coming from under it, Zackary said block the smoke from coming into the room and focus your efforts on your second way out, which most of the time is a bedroom window.
 
Finally, he said you and your family should always have a plan. According to the Red Cross, families have as little as two minutes to safely escape a burning home. 
 
"You can make a sketch of your home and each children’s bedroom, and everyone knows their way out," said Zackary.  
 
Once you're out of the home, wait until help arrives. 

(© 2016 KYTX)


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