A house fire is a terrifying experience. You may not have much time to escape once the fire starts, and you may find that the route you thought you’d be able to escape through is blocked. Sadly, it is estimated that about seven people die each day in house fires in this country.
Many fire-related deaths and injuries can be prevented. Here are some important things to remember about house fires.
Fire extinguishers aren’t foolproof
Many people don’t realize that there are important limitations to when they should use a fire extinguisher. Failing to abide by these can quickly mean disaster.
You should only try put out a fire with an extinguisher if it is small, contained, doesn’t contain flammables and can be put out in only a few seconds. You should be familiar with the extinguisher and know how to use it. The fire extinguisher should be rated for the type of fire in question, and you should have two ways to escape from the area if you can’t put the fire out.
Age and contents of the home matter
Even though it might seem like newer homes would take longer to go up in flames because of the advances in fire safety knowledge, this isn’t the case. Many of the materials and contents in newer homes will take less time to ignite.
On average, you have less than three minutes to get out of a house that is burning. In the past, the average was up to 17 minutes. Open floor plans and the free flow of oxygen are two reasons why fires can spread much faster in newer homes.
The speed and severity of house fires is the reason why Connecticut maintains fire codes to help building owners and developers understand the current regulations. Many of these have to do with the placement of smoke detectors, fire suppression systems and exits.
Failing to comply with these building codes could be disastrous. You should be prepared for the worst.
After a house fire
If you are caught in a house fire, get any medical care you need before you worry about anything else. Then you can take steps to deal with insurance claims, the financial implications of the fire and other important matters.