If you want to learn how to survive a fire in 5 different scenarios then you have come to the right spot. You’re about to discover the art of surviving a fire…
A recent study from University of California Davis revealed that the number one cause of wildfire deaths in America is from smoking. Flicking a cigarette out a car window, for example, can cause a multi-thousand acre fire instantly. The first and best way to survive such a fire is to prevent it. Wildfires, however, can start naturally and in most cases are caused by somebody else’s careless act.
If trapped in a wildfire the best thing to do right away, if possible, is to evacuate the area. Get as far away from the fire as you need to be sure that it will not reach you and do this as quickly as possible. Crossing a wide river or other body of water, for example, will usually insure that you are out of the fire zone. If however, you seem to be surrounded by the fire or for some other reason you are unable to escape, position yourself somewhere where you will not be consumed by the fire. Read on to see what FEMA has recommended for surviving a wildfire:
Survival in a Vehicle
- This is dangerous and should only be done in an emergency, but you can survive the firestorm if you stay in your car. It is much less dangerous than trying to run from a fire on foot.
- Roll up windows and close air vents. Drive slowly with headlights on. Watch for other vehicles and pedestrians. Do not drive through heavy smoke.
- If you have to stop, park away from the heaviest trees and brush. Turn headlights on and ignition off. Roll up windows and close air vents.
- Get on the floor and cover up with a blanket or coat.
- Stay in the vehicle until the main fire passes.
- Stay in the car. Do not run! Engine may stall and not restart. Air currents may rock the car. Some smoke and sparks may enter the vehicle. Temperature inside will increase. Metal gas tanks and containers rarely explode.
If You Are Trapped at Home
- If you do find yourself trapped by wildfire inside your home, stay inside and away from outside walls. Close doors, but leave them unlocked. Keep your entire family together and remain calm.
If Caught in the Open
- The best temporary shelter is in a sparse fuel area. On a steep mountainside, the back side is safer. Avoid canyons, natural “chimneys” and saddles.
- If a road is nearby, lie face down along the road cut or in the ditch on the uphill side. Cover yourself with anything that will shield you from the fire’s heat.
- If hiking in the back country, seek a depression with sparse fuel. Clear fuel away from the area while the fire is approaching and then lie face down in the depression and cover yourself. Stay down until after the fire passes!
Surviving a House Fire
More deaths in fires are caused by asphyxiation than by actual burns. This occurs when carbon monoxide levels rise too high or the smoke is too thick or hot to breath. High levels of Carbon monoxide cannot be detected by the human nose and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning quickly and without warning. Being alerted promptly of a fire can give you the extra few seconds you need to survive.
Equip your house with fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors, fire detectors, gas masks and fire blankets. Also, be sure to have at least one fire escape in each living space (bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms). If you live on the second story, or have a multistory house, have flame resistant rope ladders available at bedroom windows.
Stuff you will need
-A Gas Mask
A gas mask will save you from carbon monoxide poisoning. Even better is a mask with an oxygen tank
-A Smoke detector Carbon Monoxide Combo
A smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm will alert you before it is to late
-A Fire Blanket
A fire blanket in your home or car can shield you from the heat and help prevent burns.
An emergency fire ladder can provide a quick escape out of a second floor window
In the event of a fire, you must remain calm and use your decision making skills to find the quickest way to escape the fire. The above tools can assist you in doing this, but in any survival situation it up to you whether you will survive or not. Do not worry about saving personal belongings, only save lives.
In some cases it is possible to use fire blankets or fire extinguishers to put the fire out. If you can see the fire is clearly spreading and not being put out, it is time to go. If trapped in a room, cover yourself with the fire blanket and stay low to the ground. Smoke rises and the least amount of carbon monoxide will be on the ground. Also stay far away from any fuels that may explode and from other fuels like furniture and walls.