How To Survive Escaping Fire

By on May 15, 2014
escaping fire

Whether a house fire or a forest fire, when a blaze catches you off guard, you’ve precious time to react — HOW TO SURVIVE outlines the best ways to get out safely!

Fires kill more than all natural disasters combined! Four out of five deaths from fire occur at home. Most people aren’t killed by flames but by deadly smoke inhalation.

The common household battery – this tiny unit of stored energy is responsible for saving more than half of all household fire victims. It could save more if people would only remember to check them. In fact, when it comes to fire smarts, man is anything but smart. In the home, smoking is the leading cause of fire related deaths. Four out of five wildfires are started not by lightening but by the carelessness of man.

To put the danger in perspective, wildfires can spread up to 14 miles per hour. In the home, a spark from an every day object can rage out of control within less than thirty seconds. It can double in size every minutes killed instantly.e. When heat is absorbed into the walls and furnishings, the buildup can cause an entire room to explode into flames in what’s called flashover. Anyone in the room, civilian or firefighter, is killed instantly. So whether camping in the woods or asleep in your bed, if you’re confronted by fire, take the following steps to survive:

  • Get out – shout a warning to anyone who could be in danger but don’t stop to gather belongings. Get yourself to safety. In a house or in an apartment, test the door for heat. If smoke is coming from underneath, the fire may be looking for a new source of oxygen. If you open the door, an explosive backdraft could shoot into the room. Instead, seal out any smoke with clothes or towels and head for an an alternative exit like a window.
  • In a wildfire head the opposite direction of the flame. Smoke is your enemy now and if it follows you, stay low. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl toward an exit. Smoke is hotter than air and will rise leaving a pocket of fresh air below. So get your mouth and nose as low as possible. If it’s an option, wet your clothes or wrap a wet blanket around your body to stave off the heat – especially in a wildfire.
  • If you’re still trapped, you’ve got to signal for help. Fire is bright but smoke is dark. Whether you are in a house or in a forest, even if you can see the firefighters, they may not be able to see you. Call 911 if you can and let the operator know what room you are in. Attract attention by waving something bright out the window or be able to name your campsite and relay an identifiable landmark to the rescuers.
  • If the flames reach your area, make a final escape. Fireproof rope ladders can save your life if you have one. So can jumping to a lower roof and then to the ground. In a wildfire, any body of water big enough to stop the progression of the flames can provide refuge including outdoor swimming pools as a last resort. Be cautious of hot, shallow streams If you’re being surrounded, locate an area free of brush and quickly dig a hole. Cover yourself with dirt, sand, or a fireproof blanket and wait for the flames to pass. If all else fails, your last option is to jump through the firewall. Locate an area with the shallowest flames and if you can, wrap a wet blanket around yourself for protection. Cover your face with your shirt or arms and make a run for it. Head away from the flames to the nearest road, red cross, or hospital if needed.

Congratulations! You’ve handled the heat and survived. In the future, protect yourself before a fire starts. Only ignite campfires on level ground away from dry brush and never leave a fire unattended. At home, install working fore alarms and follow these easy steps to fight the flames!

About William Douglas

My passion is to teach what was passed down to me – the skills of self-sufficient living. Some call it survival or prepping. I call it wisdom. And my goal is to convey my wisdom and knowledge in a way that is doable for the average person.

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