How to plan for fire survival

Install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers bearing the Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) label. Buy portable fire-escape ladders for second- or third-floor windows. Store them near the windows or under beds; practice using them. Check fire safety devices regularly to make sure they are in working order.

Planning your escape

Map out an escape plan in advance with your family; hold periodic drills. Establish two escape routes from each room and a safe outdoor meeting place where the family can gather for a head count. Note porch or garage roofs that can aid your escape from a window. Make sure windows open easily. Post the fire emergency number near telephones and find out where the nearest fire alarm box is. In case of fire

First get everyone out of the house and call the fire department. Then try to fight a small fire if you can. If it gets out of control, leave immediately, closing all doors behind you. When passing through a smoke-filled area, walk in a crouched position, head close to the floor. Try to cover your face with a damp cloth. If your clothes catch fire, don’t run. Wrap yourself in a coat or blanket and roll on the floor. Once out of the house, don’t go back.

Before leaving a room, feel the door. If it’s hot or if you see smoke, don’t open it. If the door is cool, put your foot against it, avert your face, and open it slightly. If heat or smoke rush in, shut the door. Leave by another exit or wait at a window for rescue. Stuff bedding or clothes at the bottom of the door, open the window slightly for fresh air, and hang out clothes or a bedsheet to attract rescuers.