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Escape room

How to Escape from a Burning Building?

If you were to ask most people how they would go about escaping a fire at home, most wouldn't have clue apart from pointing to the front door. Today, the average house fire can completely consume the whole house in under 5 minutes.
2020.11.27.

If you were to ask most people how they would go about escaping a fire at home, most wouldn't have clue apart from pointing to the front door. Today, the average house fire can completely consume the whole house in under 5 minutes. Yep, that's because we all have filled our homes with so much crap that burns really easily. In the same way that the flight crew tell you how to escape a burning plane, you really need to formulate an escape plan for your own home. As with so many things in the life, everything comes down to planning. So, with that in mind, lets have a look at how to escape a house fire.

Have An Escape Plan

First thing first, you're going to have to devise a workable escape plan. You should identify all exits and the routes that'll lead to a safe space. There needs to be a clear meeting point, whether in the back garden or by the post box on the opposite side of the street. Make sure that the routes of escape don't lead to dead-ends or closed in areas. Ensure that everyone in the house understands exactly how to open all the locks, be they on windows or doors. Don't put furniture or store anything large that will block an exit route. Once a fire starts, the house will fill with smoke almost instantly and you'll have enough problems navigating without having something blocking your path. 
    
Another important point is to make your plans so that they take into account the mobility of all the household members. If someone is in need of a hearing aid or glasses, please ensure that they are always within the persons reach every evening. On the whole, it's going to be safer and certainly more practical if someone with mobility issues is sleeping on the ground floor. 

Remain Low

One of the most basic rules if you are actually in a fire situation is to keep low. That means crawling. This is because smoke and toxic fumes tend to rise, whereas the cooler fresher air will be below. Remember that any smoke inhalation, whether knowingly or not, can cause you to lose consciousness. So don't take a chance by standing up as the smoke will knock you out before you know what's hit you. Another important aspect of staying low is that you'll be able to navigate your way out much more easily.

Check Door Handles

Before you open a door, please feel the doorknob. If it's hot, then it probably means that there's a fire raging on the other side. Whatever you do, don't open the door under any circumstances. By doing so, you'll give the fire extra oxygen and so put yourself in mortal danger. If this route of escape is blocked by fire, then you'll need to head to the window or other alternative exit. To feel the temperature of doorknobs always use the back of your hand, as the skin is thinner and therefore more sensitive, so you'll notice the heat before getting burned. Even if the door know is cool, open doors slowly and be prepared to slam them shut at the first sign of flames.

Don't Try To Hide

It's a common trope in the movies that the protagonist hides from a fire under the bed or in the wardrobe. In real life that would prove absolutely fatal. Your job is to escape from the burning building by finding the nearest exit. Also if you hide, then no one will know where you are and it makes everyone's job that much harder.

And if all the escape routes are blocked? First off you have to let the firemen or first responders know where you are in the building, so that they can concentrate their efforts in that particular area first. To that end, use your phone, shout from the window, eave colored material or a flashlight. If you're stuck in a room, then cover all the outlets and vents with clothing. Put material under the door. You want to stop both smoke and fire from gaining entry.

Escaping from a Fire in a High Rise Building

Whenever you are staying in an unfamiliar place, like a guest house or hotel, please pay attention to the fire escape plan. You'll find it written on the back of the room door. Though nobody since the beginning of time has ever checked out or walked the suggested route, we suggest that you be the first. It's super important that you know the evacuation procedure as well as the designated routes. Also, you'll need to be aware of any alternative routes. If there ever was to be a fire, then these are the basics...

Never Use the Lift

Always take the stairs. You'd be surprised as to how many people pile into the elevator without a second thought. But here's the thing about fires...they spread thanks to the cabling and wiring in the walls. So there's a good chance of your lift ride coming to a sudden halt. Make sure you know how many flights of stairs there are to the ground floor. If you see smoke rising from below, then you'll need to be turning back. If you can get to the building's roof then leave the stairs door open so that the smoke can clear for those below. Once you're on the roof, walk towards the wind and stand at the farthest point upwind from the fire.

Remember Your Key Card

If you're in a hotel, always take your room card key with you. This is in case the exit or stairs are blocked and you need to return to your room. If so, seal off any cracks under the door along with any vent covers. Use a flashlight or some brightly colored fabric to signal your position to those below. Help is coming.

Escape Room Fire Rules

Though there's no escape room based around a burning building, we can see that this might be a great scenario. Except for the fact, that for some it's too close to real life. Many of these escape games take place in cellars or underground basements. To that end, always be sure that there are unblocked fire escapes that are accessible from all the escape rooms and for all the players. Before you start playing, always ask to be shown the fire escape and ensure that everyone present knows where it is and how to get to it. Having a hoard of flesh eating zombies pounding the door as you try to figure out the clues that'll let you escape in one piece is going to be terrifying. But nothing is going to match a real fire. So...always be prepared.
 

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