Fire or Electrical Shock

What To Do If There Is a Fire or Electrical Shock

How to respond to a fire
During a structure fire, remain calm and follow these steps to stay safe:

When the smoke alarm sounds — react immediately. If you see flames, exit the building quickly. You may have only seconds to get out. Don’t take time to grab cell phones, valuables or any possessions. Your only concern should be to help yourself and others get out safely. Yell loudly to alert anyone in the building. Ignore anything that’s not going to get everyone out safely.

Exit safely through doors. Look for smoke coming under the door and put the back of your hand on the door to check if the door is hot. If it feels cool, slowly open it and leave. If you see fire preventing your exit, close the door immediately to protect yourself. If you see smoke or the door is hot, and there’s no other exit door, find a window for your escape. If it’s a second story window, do whatever you can to alert people, such as waving towels or bed sheets out the window and yelling. Two-story buildings should always have an escape ladder available. There are many affordable options available that fold for easy storage but make it easy to quickly exit through a window.

Protect yourself from smoke inhalation. Get low to the floor. Crawl on your hands and knees to stay below the smoke. Remind others to do so also. Don’t run! Smoke rises - so being upright and exerting effort only increases the amount of smoke you breathe in. Inhaling smoke can disorient you or even make you lose consciousness. Cover your nose and mouth if you have to walk by or through smoke-filled areas. If you have time, a piece of clothing or cloth over your nose and mouth can help filter some of the smoke.

If your clothes catch fire stop what you’re doing and – stop, drop, and roll. Drop flat to the ground, and roll around until you put the fire out. Rolling smothers the fire quickly, but cover your face with your hands as you roll around.

After exiting a burning building:
Call 911, or ask a bystander to make the call.
Conduct a head count. If anyone is missing, only re-enter the house to find them if it is safe. If not, immediately tell the first responders who is missing and where they might be.
Assess those who’ve escaped the fire for injuries, including smoke inhalation.
Get far away from the burning structure and meet at your predesignated meeting place.

How to help a victim of electrical shock

The type of current, the amount of voltage, how the current traveled through the person’s body, the person’s overall health and how quickly the person can be treated are all factors in determining the seriousness of electric shock.

Electrical shocks can cause burns but may not necessarily leave a visible mark on the skin. Regardless of whether burn marks appear, the current running through the body may leave internal damage - sometimes even severe enough to stop the person’s heart or cause another internal injury. In some situations, even lower voltages and currents of electricity can be lethal.

Remain cautious. If the person is still in contact with an electrical wire, don’t touch them. Instead, call 911 for help. Because overhead power lines usually are not insulated, stay at least 20 feet away from the wire.

If the person is safely away from any electric wires, seek emergency care or call 911 immediately for medical help, particularly if someone shows any of these symptoms:
serious burns
loss of consciousness
breathing difficulties
muscle pain and spasms
heart rhythm problems or cardiac arrest
showing signs of confusion