The most effective way to protect yourself from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards.
Things To Do Before A Fire
Always know at least two ways to exit your building.
Know where the fire extinguishers are located and know how to use them.
Keep a flashlight by your bed. In the event of a fire, the electricity may go out, or the smoke may impede your vision. Use the flashlight to locate your exits.
Never leave electrical appliances unattended.
Never store electrical appliances without waiting to make sure that they are cool.
Don’t overload your outlets or power strips. Too many appliances plugged into one outlet can overload a circuit and cause a fire.
Never burn candles or incense in your room. In addition to being dangerous, this is against housing rules.
Things To Do If There Is A Fire
Pull the fire alarm or call 911 immediately, no matter how small the fire is.
If the fire is small, and you know how to use a fire extinguisher, attempt to put out the flames. If the fire is large, exit the building immediately.
Pound on the doors of your neighbors to alert them to the danger as you exit the building.
Make sure you exit the building. You are a bigger help by leading the fire department to the fire location and to any residents that may be trapped inside, than by staying inside and losing consciousness or losing your life.
Do not go back to your room to collect your valuables. Nothing is as valuable as your life…so concentrate on protecting that.
If the building has already begun to fill with smoke, drop to a kneeling position and crawl out. As a fire consumes items in the building, poisonous gases are formed which can kill you if inhaled. In order to breathe, stay low to the ground, as oxygen will generally be heavier than smoke and poisonous gases.
When you approach a closed door, use the back of your hand to touch the door to see if it is warm. If the door, or doorknob, is warm, or if smoke is seeping in from under that door, do not open it. Find another way out.
If you can’t leave your room, keep your door closed and place a towel along the base to keep the smoke out. Hang something out of your window to alert the fire department that you are in the room. Only keep the window open if smoke is not coming into the room through the window. Use your flashlight and yell for help to get the attention of the responding officers.