Kids below the age of five face twice the risk of dying in a house fire than a person of any other age group. In a household with children, it is important to be well-informed of precautionary procedures. This is especially due to the fact that most house fires attribute their cause to young children misusing hazardous household items such as matches.
Here are a few measures you must take in the unfortunate event of a house fire.
Prevent smoke inhalation
A major cause of death during a fire is the inhalation of poisonous gas. This is why it is vital for you to keep your children from breathing it in. You may soak a cloth with water, and place it over their mouths, as the water will act as a filter against the smoke. You should also instruct your children to stay on their hands and knees. This is due to the fact that smoke rises, and so staying close to the floor results in less smoke inhalation. In such a circumstance, a smoke barrier (can be in the form of a smoke curtain or others) installed in your house can prevent the accumulation of smoke in one room.
Search for the nearest exit
During a fire, you must avoid staying in one room. Instead, you must look for the quickest way out of the house, and away from the fire. It helps to already have an escape route drawn out, one which you have taught your children beforehand.
Install a fire suppression system
This measure is, of course, not one you can carry out during the fire, but must have done prior. There are several types of fire suppression systems that you may consider installing in your home. These include the fire suppression system and/or a wet chemical for kitchen hood, the fire suppression system with clean gas, and the fire suppression system by CO2. During the event of a fire, these suppression systems emit a chemical substance that covers the flame, cutting off its oxygen supply. This helps extinguish it, and prevents the fire from spreading even further throughout the house. If cost is a major factor for consideration, installing portable fire extinguishers is definitely an effective means.
Avoid areas of the house where the fire is raging
For obvious reasons, you must avoid the fire. As you find your way through the house, there are many tips you can employ in order to ensure that you do not walk towards the fire. When approaching a door, check for any smoke seeping through the cracks. If there is smoke, you must avoid opening the door, and turn around. If there is no smoke, you should then lightly touch the doorknob. If the doorknob is hot, that means the fire is behind that door, and you should run in the opposite direction.
Stop, Drop, and Roll
In the most severe case, your clothes may catch fire. In such a case, follow the traditional technique of “stop, drop, and roll”. Place your hands over your head to avoid it from being burned, fall to the ground, and roll. This will, hopefully, extinguish the fire, and allow you to walk away with minimum injuries. It is important that you teach your children this manoeuvre in the unfortunate event that they are exposed to the fire.
If you follow these tips, then you will hopefully be able to escape any household fire, your children and yourself unscathed.