What to do During a Fire

Familiarize yourself with these items so you are prepared in the event of a fire. If your smoke alarm goes off or you see a fire:

  • Remain calm and get out before calling 911.
  • Feel the door with the back of your hand before you open it (burns on your fingers and palms can impair your ability to escape a fire using ladders or crawling).
  • If you see smoke under the door, or if the door is hot, find another way out.
  • If the door is cool, open it slowly and ensure fire or smoke is not blocking your escape. If clear, leave immediately through the door and close it behind you.
  • Be ready to close a window or door immediately if it draws smoke into the room.
  • If there’s smoke, crawl under the smoke and use a cloth, if possible, to cover your mouth and nose. Smoke and heat rise, so the air is clearer and cooler near the floor.
  • If your escape route is blocked, shut the door immediately and use an alternate route, such as the window.
  • If you are trapped in a burning building, stay near a window and close to the floor. Seal doors and vents with towels or duct tape to prevent smoke from entering. If possible, signal for help by hanging a light colored cloth at the window to alert firefighters to your location.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll until the fire is extinguished. Running will only make the fire burn faster.
  • When safe call 9-1-1 and stay on the line until the operator hangs up.
  • Stay out; Never go back into a burning building.
  • In a multi-story building use the stairs to escape, never use an elevator to escape a fire.