Would you know what to do if fire broke out in your home? The experts at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) want you to think about that now, before fire strikes, so you'll be prepared. The nonprofit membership organization recommends that every household develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. To see how much you know about escaping from fire, take this quiz (answers below). For more information, read Developing a Home Fire Escape Plan .
1. A fire escape plan should include knowing two ways out of
2. Who should participate in developing and practicing the plan?
3. If fire breaks out, I should immediately
4. Its OK to use an elevator to escape from a fire in a multi-story building.
5. If someone is trapped inside a burning building, it is best to
6. Which of the following time segments accounts for the largest number of home fire deaths?
7. If you have to escape through an area with smoke in it, the best thing to do is
8. If the smoke detector awakens you at night and you think there's a fire outside your bedroom, you should pull open the door and race out.
9. In a fire, it's wise to take time to get dressed and gather valuables before escaping.
10. If your clothing ever catches on fire, you should
11. If trapped on the third floor of a house, it is best to
12. You should know two ways out from every room
National Fire Protection * One Batterymarch Park * Quincy, MA 02269-9101
1. D. All the answers are right. Every escape plan should include knowing two ways out of every room, in case your primary exit is bloced by smoke or fire. When developing your escape plan, be sure to check all exits to see that you can actually get out. Burglar bars without quick release devices, windows painted or bolted shut, furniture blocking doors, etc., are all dangerous fire hazards that should be corrected immediately. For homes built in the wildland/urban interface, it is also important to know two escape routes from your home. In case one road is blocked by traffic or homes built in the wildland/urban interface, it is also important to know two escape routes from your home, in case one road is blocked by traffic or fire.
2. C. Everyone in the household should participate in developing the home fire escape plan, including little ones. Here's how: Draw a floor plan of your home and show two ways out of every room and a meeting place outside. Then walk through your home and make sure all the doors and windows are clear and open easily. Practice your escape plan, trying all possible exits at least twice a year. If there are very old, very young, or physically impaired people in your family, try to locate their sleeping rooms on the lowest level and plan to have a family member assist them with their escape.
3. D. If fire breaks out, leave the building immediately and be sure everyone else inside does the same. Once safely outside, call the fire department from a neighbor's home or use a call box, and stay out.
5. B. Never go back inside a burning building. If you think someone is trapped inside, immediately inform the fire department or tell fire fighters on the scene where you think the person can be found. Fire fighters are trained and equipped to safely perform rescues. It is very dangerous to go inside a burning building if you are unprotected by the proper clothing and breathing apparatus or if you are untrained in fire rescues.
6. A. Roughly three out of every ten home fire deaths occur in the hours of midnight to 4 a.m. when most people are asleep. This time is one of the lowest-frequency periods for home fires, but because fires can develop undetected, an ealy morning fire is especially likely to be fatal. The underscores the importance of installing smoke detectors on every level of your home, including the basement. They can give you advance warning of a fire and provide extra time to escape.
7. D. In a fire, smoke is heated and rises. It fills the room from the ceiling down. If you encounter smoke or flames on your way out, turn around and use your alternate exit. If you must escape through smoke, crouch or crawl under the smoke, keeping your head about 12-24 inches off the floor. This is the safety zone, where the air will be cooler and cleaner.
8. B. This is false. Before you open the door, kneel or crouch and put the back of your hand up high against the door, the know, and the crack between the door and the door frame. If the door feels hot, it means there is fire on the other side and you should use your alternate exit. If the door feels cool, slowly open it with your shoulder braced in case you have to slam it shut. If all is clear, escape carefully, closing doors behind you as you go.
9. B. False! There is no time to do anything but get out of the burning building and yell for others to do the same. Real fires are nothing like what we see on television and in the movies. In a real fire it is hot, dark, smokey and noisy. You may only have a very few moments to escape safely, so know before you have a fire two ways out of every room and be sure windows and doors open easily and are clear at all times.
10. C. Stop, Drop, and Roll is the phrase to remember if your clothing should catch on fire. Running will only fan the flames and increase your chance of greater injury. Here's what to do: Stop right where you are, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands if you can, and roll over and over to extinguish the flames. If someone else's clothing catches on fire and you are unable to convince them to stop, drop, and roll, try to knock them to the ground, then smother the flames with a rug, heavy coat or other large covering that can be used to extinguish the flames.
11. C. Generally, it is not a good idea to break the window, as falling glass can harm people outside and damage fire hoses. It is dangerous to jump from a window higher than the second story. Ideally, you should have a safe escape means from rooms on the second or third stories, such as laboratory approved fire escape ladders. If you are trapped and it is dangerous to jump, close the door and cover the cracks to keep smoke out. Call the fire department and tell them your location, or signal at the window with a light-colored cloth. If the window opens, crack it at the top and bottom to let fresh air in and smoke out. Be prepared to shut the window quickly if smoke is drawn in. Try to stay calm and breath normally while you await rescue.
12. D. You should know two ways out of every room wherever you are. Always be aware of your surroundings and know how you would get out in an emergency. Look for exit sings when you are in restaurants, cinemas, malls, etc., and make a mental note how you would escape. Be sure exit doors are not blocked or padlocked, and if they are, get out and report it to the local fire department. When staying with friends, ask them what their escape plan is and familiarize yourself with exits. At work, participate in fire drills and count the number of desks or doors between your work area and the two nearest exits. If you have to escape in darkness or smoke, you can count your way to safety.