Urban Survival Days 50, 51, 52 – More Fire Safety

Posted: April 14, 2013 in Survival/Self Defense
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Just finished adding the 7.62×39 section to my Ammo Availability page this evening.  Go on over and check it out.  I’d love to hear feedback on the formatting so far.  Let me know if my anchors are working correctly and please let me know if any of the links are broken.  Over the next few days the other sections will be filled in as well.

50)  Use a Fire Extinguisher

In the last update we talked about how to fight a fire.  Fire extinguishers were discussed a lot so now its time we cover how to properly use a fire extinguisher.  The basic steps that you need to remember form the word PASS:  “Pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep”.

  1. Pull the safety pin from the handle.
  2. Aim the nozzle toward the base of the fire.
  3. Squeeze the handle in “short bursts of spray to knock down the flames and longer pulls to fully extinguish them”.
  4. Sweep back and forth while spraying the fire until it is completely extinguished.

Click here to watch a video on how to use a fire extinguisher.  Often I find that videos are easier to understand.  Using a fire extinguisher is really simple, but hopefully you never need to  use one.

51)  Escape a Burning House

“The key to surviving a fire in your home is having an effective plan in place before the smoldering starts”.  Preparation is key to preventing all disasters so a fire escape plan should be the first thing on your list for fire safety.

  • Know Where to Go:  The smoke produced by a fire will make it extremely difficult to see.  You’ll want to make sure that you’re very familiar with the layout of your home as well as where all the exits are.
  • Stay Low:  Heat and smoke both rise.  If a fire breaks out, you need to get close to the floor.  Inhaling smoke and exposure to extreme heat can be fatal.  If possible you should also try to “cover your mouth and nose with a damp cloth to help reduce smoke inhalation”.
  • Anticipate:  When there is a fire in your home, never assume the area outside your room’s door is safe.  Touch the surface of the door and not the doorknob to check for heat.  If there is a gap under your door, look to see if there are any visible flames.  “If you have any doubts, head to a secondary exit”.
  • Shun Stairs:  “If you’re trapped in an upper level of a house, get out through a window”.  Any exits above the first floor should have escape ladders ready just in case.  Stairways “can act like a chimney, funneling heat and smoke upward”.
  • Don’t Be a Hero:  “Under no circumstances should you remain inside to fight a blaze”.  Don’t try to put out a fire if everyone can get out to safety.  Evacuate and call 911 immediately.  “Let the professionals take care of putting out the flames”.

52)  Stock Fire Safety Gear

In addition to the basics like fire extinguishers and smoke alarms you should have a few other things.  Consider “these fire-safety extras”:

  • Collapsible Fire-Escape Ladders:  As mentioned in the tip above, stairways can become dangerous and you should never try to use them unless you have no other options.  If you have a roll-up ladder stored in each room of the upper floors, you should be good to go.  Simply open the window, hook the ladder to the windowsill, and climb down.
  • Firefighter Alert Signs:  If a fire is consuming your home and you’re trapped inside, it may be impossible to communicate with those who are coming to save you.  Having stickers or signs (like the one over to the right) that can alert firefighters that children and pets are inside is a very good idea.  If they don’t know who or what is inside, they can’t know how many victims they’re looking for.
  • Fire Safe:  Every home should have a safe that is both fireproof and waterproof.  You should store copies off important documents (birth certificates, property titles, sentimental items, etc) inside to keep them safe.  You can find these safes in just about every size imaginable.

This post is a combination of my own knowledge and opinions and information that is included in the book Urban Survival Guide by Rich Johnson.  Fire safety is very important and certainly not something you should skimp on.  Spend some extra time and money to prepare before you need it and wish you had it.

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