Fire

  • Treat all alarms as real emergencies and leave the building immediately.
  • Test any door before opening it. Touch the doorknob and the space between the door and its frame with the back of your hand.  If it is hot, do not open the door.  If it is cool, brace yourself against the door, open it slightly; if heavy smoke is present, close the door and stay inside.
  • Never use an elevator!  Always use an exit stairway!  Elevator shafts may fill with smoke or power may fail, leaving you trapped.  Stairway fire doors keep out fire and smoke and will protect you until you get outside.
  • Walk to the nearest exit.  Sound the nearest fire alarm along your way out.  Fire alarm pull stations are located near exits.
  • Knock on doors or shout as you leave to warn other occupants.  Close as many doors as possible along your route of evacuation.  This is the best defense to help confine fire and smoke.
  • Attempt to rescue others only if you can do so safely.  If the nearest exit is blocked by smoke or heat, go to another exit.
  • Call 911 after evacuation.  Distance yourself from the building to allow the fire department to gain access.
  • If caught in smoke and unable to evacuate the building normally, remain calm, get on the floor and crawl toward the nearest exit.  If possible, follow the wall to help guide you toward the exit.
  • If you are physically disabled, know if your building has areas of rescue assistance (usually located near stairwells).  If you are unable to evacuate the building, move to the most appropriate rescue assistance area, if possible.  The fire department will assist in moving you to a lower level or outside the building.
  • Never re-enter a burning building!  No one is permitted to return to the building unless authorized by fire officials.

If you get trapped in a burning building:

  • Keep doors closed.  Seal cracks and vents with a towel, sheet, coat, sweater, etc.  If you are trapped in a room and there is no smoke outside the building, open the window.
  • Signal for help.  Hang an object (coat or sweater) out the window to attract rescuers' attention.  If there is a phone in the room, call 911 and report that you are trapped.  Describe your location to the 911 dispatcher and wait until help arrives.

Note: Use portable fire extinguishers only if you have been trained and it is safe to do so.  Use on very small fires only.  Safe evacuation is your main priority.