Become A Fireman

Fire Escape Planning

One way to make sure your family is always safe in the case of a fire is to plan a successful fire escape route in your home. Make sure you practice with regular fire drills so that in the case of a fire, everybody knows what to do. Every year, over four thousand people die in house fires. Educating your children on fire safety will be beneficial to them for the rest of their lives. It will give them confidence and help them control their actions if a fire does start in your home. By including children in all fire safety planning, they will know which route to use to exit the home, possibly saving their life.

The most important factor to keep in mind while planning your fire escape route is time. Ask yourself what the fastest way out of your house is, and base your escape route on that. Speed is important because the more time you spend in a burning building, the more dangerous your surroundings become. When exiting the home keep moving until you are out. Do not stop to pick up any of your valuables or personal belongings. Your own life is the only thing you need to be worried about because it cannot be replaced like your personal belongings can be. Because a fire could potentially break out in any room of your home, it is important to include all rooms in your fire escape plan. By going over every room in your escape plan, both you and your children will be more familiar with the layout of your house. This will give you a great advantage when trying to escape from a fire. Another good thing to teach your children is how to remove screens from the windows so that if need be, they can escape through a window. If you have a multi story home, invest in a collapsible ladder, which you can climb down from if you need to escape from a top floor window.

Be sure your children are aware that when exiting the home, they should be on their hands and knees. Conduct all fire drills in this fashion also because the home looks different from this level and familiarity is very important to being able to successfully leaving the home. Explaining to your children, the dangers of smoke, and how important it is to try to avoid it at all costs could save their life. When opening a door during a fire, be sure to feel it first for heat so you can properly judge if there are flames on the other side. In the event you cannot open a door because it is hot, move on to the next planned escape route.

fire-escapeAfter covering all possible exit routes from the home, and it has been made clear where everyone should exit depending on what room they are in when the fires tarts. You need to decide on a safe meeting spot outside the home. This spot should be far enough away from the home that it cannot be reached by smoke coming out of the house. Everybody needs to know how important it is to meet in this specified area. If everybody goes to a different location, you will not know if the others are safe. Many have died by re-entering a burning building to find loved ones that did not show up at the designated meeting spot. Those with firefighter jobs are the only ones who should ever re-enter the home. Once everyone is at the special meeting spot, the fire department should be called so that people with the qualifications to become a firefighter can come and extinguish the fire. To be sure that you and your family are always safe, make sure that you practice often. Make fire safety a permanent part of your household.

After a House Fire

The reason people become a firefighter is to help you in fire related situations where you can not help yourself. If you have a house fire, firefighters will come to the rescue to extinguish the flames. Once the fire has been put out, and the damage has been done, it can be hard to recover from.

Anybody who has suffered through the traumatic experience, and lived through a house fire can tell you how devastating it can be to your life. Everything changes all at once and you have no control over it. However, after the experience of being through a house fire, there are things you can do to regain control of your life, and ensure your stability. Although a house fire is life changing, do not allow it to be life shattering.

As long as everyone got out of the home safely and the firefighters job has been completed, ceasing the fire, if neither you, nor your loved ones have suffered any physical injuries or health concerns, you can breathe a sigh of relief and take the time you need to rest. The shock of being in a house fire needs time to wear off, and your nerves need to straighten out before you can attempt to deal with anything else. The first 24 hours following a fire should be used to gain any possible necessary items you may have lost in the fire. Such items include medicines, clothing, food, and temporary shelter. Disaster relief organizations such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army may be able to provide you with these necessities. Directly following a fire, it may be tempting to re-enter the home to claim any personal items you can. This is not recommended, as the stability of the home may have been jeopardized during the fire, and it may be unsafe to go inside. Also, fires may re-ignite putting your safety at risk again. Any foods, medications, or drinks that were in the home during the house fire should be disposed of, as they will no longer be usable.

Once you leave your home, you may want to board up any possible openings in your home that trespassers may enter. Also, contact your local police department to let them know your home will be unoccupied temporarily. For insurance purposes, keep every receipt for any money you spend as a result of the fire as these will be necessary to verify any losses you will claim on your income tax forms. If you are able to go back inside your home, make sure you plan it ahead of time. Think of where things are located in the house and plan a walk-through to gather any personal belongings and valuables. Some important items you may want to retrieve are your identification such as driver’s license, birth certificates, and social security cards. You will also need your insurance information, and prescription medication information. If any family members have lost eyeglasses try to find those as well. Finally, make sure to gather any valuables such as bankbooks, cash, credit cards, or jewelry.

house-fireAlways keep in mind that certain people will need to be notified of your relocation, even though it will be temporary. Be sure to let family and friends know so that they will not be worried about you. Let your employer and children’s school know as well. Any delivery services will need to know your new address so that you can have deliveries put on hold for a period of time. Your temporary address will need to be given to the post office so your mail can be re-routed. Utility companies should be informed of a new address as well as the fire department information in case they have any questions regarding the fire, or if any situations arise. It is very difficult trying to remember everything once you have been through a fire, but these are all very important things, which need to be done, in order to lessen the ongoing trauma of a house fire.

Child Fire Safety

Fire departments are once again trying to educate people and families on the important issue of fire protection and safety. A small fire can quickly turn into a raging inferno in a very short period of time. Because of this, it is extremely important to educate yourself as well as your children about fire safety.

The number one cause of house fires started by children happened with a lighter or matches. Children seem to find matches and lighters irresistible and can quickly learn how to use them even if they have a child safety feature. These items should always be kept out of reach from the child in order to prevent a possible tragedy. If your child begins showing an interest in fire or matches, there is help you can receive in the form of counseling. The counseling provided will help your child redirect these dangerous desires toward something that is not life threatening or dangerous. Most adolescents, who are “fire starters” and have committed arson, openly admit to having played with matches and lighters often as children. To remove any possible temptation, always keep any matches or lighters in a place where children will not have access.

Another major cause of fire injury with children is clothing related fires, which occur when a child becomes too close to an open flame or source of heat such as a stove element. This may cause their clothing to catch fire. Teaching children at an early age about fire and the damage it can cause will help them to develop a respect for fire. Child fire education may include the basics of what they should do in the event of a fire, or how to “stop, drop, and roll”. This is an important part of firefighter training, and is especially important for a child to learn because their first instinct may be to run away if they catch fire. The concept of stop, drop, and roll is a simple one, but it could save your children’s life. It is also important to always make sure your child is supervised to prevent any possible fire accident from happening in the first place.

child-fire-safetyA law was passed in the 1970′s indicating that all children’s sleepwear had to be manufactured from flame retardant or self extinguishing fabric. Before this law passed, fire related death of children was at an all time high. This decreased by over ninety percent once the law went into effect. This change helped to raise the general awareness of fire dangers and also resulted in another step toward better fire safety and protection practices. Part of a firefighter’s job is to warn parents about possible sleeping garments such as t-shirts and shorts, which are not manufactured out of a flame retardant fabric. You should always read the label on the clothing your child sleeps in, because if your child is not protected with flame retardant or self extinguishing fabrics while they’re sleeping, it could literally be a matter of life and death.

Improve Fire Safety with Smoke Detectors

Whether you call them smoke alarms, or smoke detectors, these small devices are a very important addition to any household. Having smoke detectors installed will ensure that you are alerted to a possible house fire before it is too late. It will give you the time you need to contact the fire department and most importantly, get everyone out of the home safely. One of the reasons why fire related deaths are so high is because people are often asleep when fires start. Because people are asleep they will often not wake up and realize that there is a fire in time to get out safely. Smoke detectors can be purchased from most hardware stores for around $15. You may also want to contact your local fire department for information on how to install and maintain your smoke alarm so that it functions effectively.

In the event of a house fire, smoke is actually the number one cause of death. Most people who die as the result of a fire were killed by suffocation. Smoke removes oxygen from the air around it, making it very difficult or impossible to breathe. If you are asleep in a room and smoke starts filling the space, you are at a great risk of not waking up in time to get out quickly and safely. The more smoke in a room, the darker it becomes, and the harder it will be to navigate your way out. The best thing you can do if you wake up in a room filled with smoke is to stay as low as possible while trying to get out. There will be much more oxygen near the floor than there will be if you’re standing up, because smoke naturally rises. Whatever you do, if there is a house fire your first priority should be getting you and your family out safely. Do not go back into the house for any other reason, such as to get material items out of the home. If you do not have firefighter training, or the requirements to become a firefighter you will not know how to safely enter the home. Just worry about getting out alive, leave the rest to the firemen.

smoke-detectorSmoke alarms must be installed and cared for properly for them to be effective at all times. Every smoke alarm in your home should be tested monthly. This is normally done by pushing a button on the smoke detector, which will then sound the alarm so you know it’s working. Smoke alarms normally have batteries but some can be hard wired into the home so batteries are not needed. It is a good idea to have both types installed so at least one will be effective even if the power goes out, or if the batteries are dead. Smoke alarms need to be taken seriously, so if you find that yours is malfunctioning and sounding the alarm even when there is no smoke, you may want to consider replacing it. Otherwise, you will be conditioned to ignore the alarm, and may not react properly in the event of a fire.

In the unfortunate event of a fire, the smoke alarm is your first line of defense. It allows you to notify the fire department so they can get there faster, and minimize damage to your home. More importantly, it can save your life, and the lives of your family members. The cost of a smoke detector is minimal compared to how much you can save. By adding smoke detectors to every room of your house, you are adding a sense of security to you and your family’s lives.