Fires can be catastrophic. In fact, fire causes more deaths than any other type of disaster. When the cost of failure is high, optimism is the wrong strategy. Instead, you can employ Optimal Thinking (superlative realism) to create your best contingency plan.
Before A Fire
Are you ready? You can avoid disastrous consequences by being properly prepared. Simply install a battery-powered smoke detector outside your bedrooms and on every level of your home. Make sure you have fresh batteries on hand, and test your smoke detectors once a month.
Create a floor plan of your home, draw the best fire escape routes for each room, and provide your family members with a fire escape plan. Prepare instructions about disabling utilities, and decide upon a safe place to meet after a fire. Practice using an escape ladder, and escaping with your eyes closed to simulate how you would crawl through thick smoke. Conduct a fire drill with your family every six months so that you are sure what to do should you have to deal with this kind of emergency.
Install a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, ensure that it is fully charged and check the pressure with the gauge / test button. You can enlist the help of the fire department to ensure you know how to maintain a fully operational extinguisher.
During a Fire
Escape via the best route where you don’t see smoke. If you have to pass through smoke, crawl beneath the smoke. If you have to open a door, check if it is hot. If it is, take your other escape route. If you can’t exit, remain in the room with the door closed. If you have a telephone, call the fire department and describe your precise location. You can also use a bright cloth to signal for assistance through the widow.
If you have additional tips to optimize fire preparedness, post them below.