How to Handle a House Fire

Jul 11, 2013 by

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were at least 370,000 home structure fires in 2011, resulting in thousands of injuries and deaths, as well as almost $7 billion in damages. The leading cause of these fires was cooking, usually because the oven or stove was left unattended. The website of Dallas insurance attorneys from Smith Kendall PLLC also highlights electrical problems and accidentally lighting flammable objects while smoking as common causes of house fires. But regardless of how the fire was started, it will rapidly spread and become lethal if you and your loved ones are not aware of the dangers of fire and how to escape it as quickly as possible.

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In order to prepare for the event of a fire, set two ways to escape every room and maintain windows to be sure they can be easily opened. Practice using these escape routes twice a year to keep it fresh in your mind.

The main threats of a house fire are not the fire itself, but the fire’s byproducts: heat and smog. Because heat rises, the temperature in a burning room quickly rises, the farther your head is from the floor. The smoke that fire produces also rises, carrying toxic gases and ashes with it. If a fire does get out of hand in your home, you should keep your body low to the ground and crawl to safety. Don’t hesitate to get out of the building when you hear a smoke alarm, and watch the smoke as warning signs – if smoke is leaking through a door or if a doorknob is hot, then leave it and take an alternate route.

Once out, do not try to re-enter your home until the fire department has put out the fire and checked to make sure the structure is safe and utilities services have been turned off.

Even more information about house fires prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency can be found here:

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