Fire Preparedness

The dangers associated with fire are numerous and often fatal. From serious one, two and third degree burns to smoke inhalation and respiratory problems a fire, be it an outdoor wildfire or forest fire or indoor inferno can lead to many problems. The fire itself is danger enough but the panic that ensues when many people try to escape its path can cause trampling and other injuries and the smoke that a fire gives off can cause a lack of oxygen for people even miles away from the actual fire. Because of these hazards it is important to prepare you and your family in the case of a fire emergency.

Every year fires kill more people than any other kind of natural disaster. However, you can take several precautionary steps to help save you and your family from a fire. Most fatalities and damage from fires happen at night when many people are sleeping. It is imperative that you have several high quality and battery-tested smoke alarms in your home to warn you of excessive smoke which could mean a fire. Many people have smoke alarms and detectors but fail to check and test these units on a regular basis. If the battery is dead in an alarm you won't know there's a fire until it's too late. Always have your smoke alarm batteries checked and tested regularly to ensure your preventive measures are up to the task.

Fire is sudden and can easily cause panic. When hot flames begin to whip around and thick smoke rises people tend to forget common sense and act in desperate ways seeking safety. A good idea for you and your family is to have a fire evacuation plan and drill routinely so when an emergency does happen you will be trained to remain calm and know exactly where to go. Be sure you have everyone accounted for, including pets, as you prepare to evacuate a burning house or building. Often large families will have checklists for the adults to make sure no one is forgotten and nothing is overlooked during the evacuation. Make these lists ahead of time when emotions are stable and in check so you don't spend needless time running around trying to save sentimental items during a fire. Get your family and pets to safety before worrying about anything else.

Response to fires is usually pretty quick but if you live in a remote or rural area it can take fire rescues teams some time to get to the scene and put out a fire. This can also happen in big cities and crowded suburbs due to traffic. During this time you or someone you know may have suffered an injury, skin burn or be suffering from smoke inhalation. Though you are limited in the degree to which you can treat such injuries a well-stocked first aid kit should give you enough supplies including burn care sprays and respiratory masks to provide temporary relief until professional help can arrive.

Though you've just escaped a pretty hot environment if it's evening or early morning it's going to be chilly outside and since your home is temporarily uninhabitable you will benefit from having warm clothing and heavy blankets for the few hours you will be waiting outside for the firefighters to deal with the flames. This is also a good time to check your skin for burns and minor cuts from broken glass or burned wood that can become infected if not treated immediately. Help is on the way but with a few basic first aid supplies you can give first response treatment to a number of hazards resulting from a fire.
Know how to prepare your home or office for fires and what supplies should be stocked in a first aid kit.