What to Do During a Fire

To Escape a Fire

  • If the Door is Hot
  • If the Door is Cold

If your clothes catch on fire, you should:
Stop, drop, and roll—until the fire is extinguished. Running only makes the fire burn faster.
To escape a fire, you should:

  • Check closed doors for heat before you open them. If you are escaping through a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, the doorknob, and the crack between the door and door frame before you open it. Never use the palm of your hand or fingers to test for heat—burning those areas could impair your ability to escape a fire (i.e., ladders and crawling).
  • If the door is Hot: Do not open it. Escape through a window. If you cannot escape, hang a white or light-colored sheet outside the window, alerting fire fighters to your presence.
  • If the door is Cold: Open slowly and ensure fire and/or smoke is not blocking your escape route. If your escape route is blocked, shut the door immediately and use an alternate escape route, such as a window. If clear, leave immediately through the door and close it behind you. Be prepared to crawl. Smoke and heat rise. The air is clearer and cooler near the floor.
  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit—heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • Close doors behind you as you escape to delay the spread of the fire.
  • Stay out once you are safely out. Do not reenter. Call 9-1-1.

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