Structure Fire

Home fires are the most common disaster that the Red Cross responds to and also the most preventable. Families need to take a few simple precautions to avoid tragedies, such as having working smoke alarms on every level of their homes and having family fire escape plans in place to help get everyone out of the house safely. The American Red Cross recommends the following when creating your family escape plan:

    • Identify two ways to escape from every room in the home.
    • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
    • Select a safe location away from the home where your family can meet after escaping.
    • Consider purchasing and storing escape ladders for rooms above ground level and make sure to learn how to use them.
    • If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out.
    • If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke.
    • Before escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is warm, use your second escape route.
    • If smoke, heat or flames block both of your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Place a rolled towel underneath the door. Signal for help by waving a brightly colored cloth or shining a flashlight at the window. If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and let them know your exact location inside the home.
    • Once you’ve escaped, stay out.

Wildfires are a serious risking our rural area with trees, brush and tall grass. Fire in grass can spread quickly, but at lower heat. Fire in brush and trees can be very hot, and consume a house that gets in the way. How can you “prepare” for a fire? Here are some methods:

    • identify the exits from your home, and make sure everyone is trained to evacuate in an emergency
    • have your go-bag and other preparation done – so you can respond when the fire occurs
    • install fire and smoke alarms in each bedroom, and potential ignition source (kitchen, furnace area); and test them regularly
    • reduce the fuel around your house, 30′ to 100′ away, depending on wind direction and type of fuel
    • develop a fire safety plan for your home