Every household is at the risk of the unfortunate event of a fire. Hopefully, this will never happen to you and your family, but if it was to happen, it’s important to make sure you are ready for a calm, safe evacuation. Every household should have working fire alarms installed, they save lives every day. Between the years of 2007 and 2011, 37% of fire deaths occurred in homes without smoke detectors. That’s 4 out of 10 people! Why take the risk? In this blog, we will be explaining the Dos and Dont’s of a fire evacuation.

What is R.A.C.E?

When evacuating from a burning building it is important to remember R.A.C.E. R stands for rescue and remove, this is the process in which one should remove any persons from immediate danger/scene. Alert/Activate the people surrounding you, pull the nearest fire alarm and call the emergency services on 999. C stands for confine, close all doors to the hazard or fire area. Using the closest fire extinguisher, extinguish the fire and evacuate.

What to do when evacuating a burning building?

  • First things first, try to remove yourself from the burning building in a calm manner.
  • Grab some sort of material like a t-shirt, scarf or jumper, anything you can use to cover your mouth and nose to prevent inhalation of smoke. If you’re able to dampen the fabric this will reduce the amount of smoke passed through the fabric.
  • Stay low and crawl. Smoke is a fast killer, so staying low to the ground will reduce the risks of breathing in dangerous amounts of toxic smoke. This also increases visibility as smoke rises upwards.
  • When evacuating the building be sure to use the back of your hand to check the heat of the door before opening, if the door is hot do not open it. You will provide the oxygen the fire needs to spread further, turn around and find another way out.
  • If you are unable to find a way out secure yourself in a room, placing wet towels, blankets or anything you can find under doors, this will keep smoke out. If you are able to get yourself to a bathroom and open the windows, that’s your best chance.
  • If anything on you or another individual catches fire, STOP, DROP and ROLL.

Fire evacuation vector sign. Pictogram of man and realistic flame.

Things to avoid doing when evacuating a burning building.

  • Never use an elevator in the case of a fire. Fire will short-circuit the elevators, causing anyone trapped inside to become stuck and unable to exit. Elevator shafts act as a natural chimney, this means that all smoke and heat will rise through the shaft, harming anything that may be in the shaft.
  • Never stand up in a fire, stay low to the ground. If you are standing up, this increases the chance of inhaling smoke and burning.
  • It’s important that you don’t panic, whilst this may seem like a tricky one but panicking can cause one to make stupid decisions which could cause serious injuries.
  • Do not stop to call the emergency services, wait until you have got to safety.
  • Do not go back inside! Once you’ve escaped do not go back for anything.

We hope that you have found this blog useful if you would like to find out more on how we can help you and your home head over to our website or give us a call on 01604 760600.