A few months ago I came across a post on WordPress that asked readers what they would save if their house was on fire. I was flabbergasted to learn that anyone would encourage people to risk their lives dallying when their house is on fire as they think about and select cherished items to save.
I commented on this blogger’s post that she was being irresponsible and that it was just plain stupid to write such a post. She never removed her post. She never responded to me. Nobody else commented on the post or “liked” her post the last time I checked.
Recently, a similar post was sent out on the Daily Post by one of the staff at WordPress:
The question was, and I’m rephrasing, What five things from your burning house would you grab? The immediate response that came to my mind was, my *SS and to haul it the hell out of here! The heck with the other four things!
Why would anyone try to put it in someone else’s mind that they should try to salvage things when their house is on fire? Without a doubt, someone will read it and believe that that’s what you should do!
After browsing the Internet, it seems that getting your possessions while your house is burning down is the thought of the day! It isn’t just WordPress bloggers who are misinformed.
Here are the FACTS about what you should do if your house is on fire. I’ve taken these FACTS from the Red Cross website
where they list much more information than I have provided here and you should visit there to learn much more.
Their first recommendation is this:
If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help. (Caps theirs, not mine.)
Fires can ignite very quickly and without warning, leaving you and your loved ones with little or no time to escape.
**This one bears repeating: “little or NO TIME TO ESCAPE”. Is there any part of that that anyone doesn’t understand? Because I would be happy to explain it further.
By creating and practicing an escape plan, family members can save valuable time in the event of a fire by knowing exactly how to act.
The Red Cross response to home fires has increased by 10% since 2000. (I’m not going to do all the work for you. You should find out why that is.)
Home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation.
Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. And, two out of three cooking fires start with the range or stove.
Every 2 1/2 hours someone is killed in a home fire. In a typical year, 20,000 people are injured in home fires.
Only 26 percent of families have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
Each year over 200 people die from carbon monoxide produced by fuel burning appliances in the home including furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters.
Home fires can affect any home at any time. However, children under five and adults over 65 face the highest risk of dying in a home fire.
74 percent of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
**To emphasize further the lack of time you have in a house fire, I am quoting here from another quote (http://fox6now.com/2012/02/21/what-would-you-do-if-your-house-caught-on-fire/) taken from firefighter Chris Gauthier: ‘“Smoke is the number one thing that kills people in fires. The first thing you should worry about is getting out of your house.”‘
Again, this bears repeating. He said:
SMOKE IS THE NUMBER ONE THING THAT KILLS PEOPLE IN FIRES.
THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD WORRY ABOUT……IS GETTING OUT OF YOUR HOUSE. Notice, he didn’t say get papers, mementos, books, gifts, etc.
And my own two cents: If you don’t care about your own safety and the pain your family would feel if they lost you, and you are willing to jeopardize your safety by gathering your treasured junk, then think about the firefighter
who has to come into your burning house to try to save you and risk his own life. More than likely he has a family that he cares about and wants to go home to and they care about him.
Here is a video that shows how fast a house fire can spread. It took 1.55 seconds, nearly two minutes, for the smoke to reach the smoke detectors. Seconds after that, the room was engulfed in flames. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piofZLySsN
While you are there on youtube, watch some of the other fire safety films. Nobody can predict how fast a fire will spread. Use your head and get out. And for God’s sake, don’t encourage anyone to grab their belongings.
Very Special Note: Michael Cossey, http://www.arkansasfire.net is a firefighter and the photographer who took the photo shown in the Featured Post widget of the female firefighter with the firehose.