Do you think you have what it takes to stay calm and take action during a home fire? Does your home have a fire escape plan in case it happens? Is your fire extinguisher still working? Is your house protected by home insurance?
If you’re struggling to answer these questions, you’re most likely not ready in the event of a house fire. Knowing what to do or making the right decision can mean life or death in a fire, so it’s crucial to that you and family members prepare yourselves with the proper information and tools.
Extinguish the fire
You can try to extinguish the fire if it has just started. Grab your fire extinguisher and remember the PASS technique: pull the pin, aim at the base of the flames, squeeze the handle, and sweep from side to side.
If you think it’s too late to contain the fire, evacuate immediately and contact the fire department.
Call for help
Once you realize there’s a fire, call for the fire department immediately. If you don’t have a phone with you, evacuate immediately and alert the neighbours.
In the situation where you are trapped in a room, sit by the window and wait for rescue. Alert others by knocking on walls and call for help periodically. Don’t waste your energy screaming.
Check your doors and keep them closed
Before you open any doors in a house fire, remember to feel for heat by touching the door or the knobs. If it’s warm, there could be a fire on the other side.
Once you get out of a room, close the door behind you. It prevents flames from spreading from room to room.
Stay low and cover your nose
Deaths that occur in a house fire are usually due to the inhalation of toxic fumes, rather than burning to death. Smoke will rise to the top, so you should crawl out to safety or try to stay as low as possible while evacuating.
You can also avoid inhaling smoke by wetting a towel and use it to cover your nose.
Get to safety
Your top priority in a house fire is to evacuate. It may be hard to leave personal belongings and valuables behind, but every second in a fire decreases your chance of survival.
Once you’re outside, do not reenter the burning house and stay put. Wait for authorities to arrive and alert them if you believe there are still people inside.
They always say prevention is better than cure. In the case of a house fire, it’s wiser to have smoke alarms installed and fire extinguishers in your home to alert your family before your home is engulfed in flames.
Getting home insurance will also give you peace of mind by protecting your home and possessions. Check out https://www.aig.my/personal/home-insurance/standard-home-insurance to apply for one now.