A fire can destroy a structure in a matter of minutes. Understanding the basic characteristics of fire and learning the proper safety practices can be the key to surviving a house or a building fire.
The number one thing a house shouldn't be without is a smoke detector. Check them once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. You should develop and practice escape plans and make sure all family members know what to do in a fire.
During a fire, get out as quickly and as safely as possible. Use the stairs to escape. When evacuating, stay low to the ground. If possible, cover your mouth with a cloth to avoid inhaling smoke and gases. Close doors in each room after escaping to delay the spread of the fire. If you are in a room with a closed door, keep the door closed if smoke is pouring in around the bottom of the door or if it feels hot. Open a window to escape or for fresh air while awaiting rescue. If there is no smoke at the bottom or top and the door is not hot, then ope the door slowly. If there is too much smoke or fire in the hall, slam the door shut. Call the fire department from a location outside the house. After the fire, give first aid where appropriate. Seriously injured or burned victims should be transported to professional medical help immediately. Stay out of damage buildings. Return home only when local fire authorities say it is safe. Always look for structural damage. You should discard food that has been exposed to heat, smoke, or soot.