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What To Do if a Fire Starts

Learn what you and your family should do if a fire starts in your home.

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If you need help after a home fire, please contact your local Red Cross.

If a Fire Starts:
  • Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher
  • Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency phone number.
  • Yell "Fire!" several times and go outside right away. If you live in a building with elevators, use the stairs. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.
  • If closed doors or handles are warm or smoke blocks your primary escape route, use your second way out. Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
  • If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Close doors behind you.
  • If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
  • Once you are outside, go to your meeting place and then send one person to call the fire department. If you cannot get to your meeting place, follow your family emergency communication plan.
  • If your clothes catch on fire:

  • Stop what you’re doing.
  • Drop to the ground and cover your face if you can.
  • Roll over and over or back and forth until the flames go out. Running will only make the fire burn faster.
  • THEN:

    Once the flames are out, cool the burned skin with water for three to five minutes. Call for medical attention.

    VIDEO: Home Fire Safety and Prevention Tips

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