While you may have your own home on lockdown when it comes to fire safety it would be prudent to brush up on your fire safety skills for alternative situations. The scary truth is that no fire department in the world is well equipped to fight a fire above the 8th floor of a building and the safety skills required to survive can change very quickly depending on your situation. This is especially true for hotels, office buildings, and apartments that may not have such immediate and direct escape routes like a single storey home. Here we’ll look at some basic methods used to give yourself the best chance at surviving a fire in a multi-story building.
The first step, like all fire safety tips, is to be prepared. For a large building this means knowing not only the quickest but all of the possible ways to exit the building. If one pathway is blocked by fire it may be necessary to seek an alternate route so it’s important to know as much as you can about the layout of the building. Make a plan before hand and stick to it. One common misconception about fires is that they are bright but this is not the case. Fires may start bright but once out of control smoke may obscure your vision and make finding your way difficult if you don’t already know it well.
Preparation doesn’t stop there though. There are a lot of different ways to make your building more suitable for fire safety starting with construction materials and proper protocol. It may be worth checking out how your building is prepared to handle a fire.
During a Fire
The first course of action is always going to be getting out of the building. Avoid elevators, cover your mouth with a wet rag, and try to stay low. There can be a very severe difference in temperature between the ground and eye level as well as more smoke if you don’t stay low. If you are trapped and unable to escape from the building there are a few things that you can do to try to increase your chances of survival. Close the door and put a damp towel under it to try and stop smoke from entering. Furthermore, stay low and cover your mouth with a wet rag. Finally, if you are by a window try to hang a cloth or some sort of signal so that firemen will be able to identify your situation and rescue you if possible.