Can you imagine what life must have been like for the first human beings on Earth? Just think about that fateful day when ancient man — or woman! — discovered fire for the first time. Instead of cold cereal for breakfast, they could now eat warm bacon, eggs and waffles!
OK…so we’re just joking about ancient breakfasts. We’re sure waffle irons didn’t come along until much, much later. But still, fire was a big deal. And it still is.
Despite all its good uses, though, fire can also be very dangerous. Its very nature is to destroy. Fire in a fireplace can warm your home. Fire on the walls of your home can destroy it. The power of fire must be kept harnessed and not allowed to wreak havoc on the world around you.
Whether you’re at school or at home, it’s important to know how to get out of a building in case it catches on fire. Getting outside quickly and safely is your top priority. Knowing where exits are and how to get to them is important, since fire and smoke can easily block some exits you might think to take.
If you’re in a room with a closed door when a fire breaks out, you must be very careful before opening the door. If you see smoke coming under the door or if the door itself or the doorknob is hot or very warm, don’t open the door.
If there’s no smoke and the door itself and the doorknob is cool, open the door slowly. If there’s no smoke or heat nearby, move quickly and safely to the nearest exit. As you move, stay low to the ground, so that you’ll avoid smoke that may be in the air along the way.
It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t stay in a burning building any longer than necessary. Although it can be hard to do, you need to leave pets and favorite toys behind to make sure you get outside as safely and quickly as possible.
Don’t even stop to call 9-1-1. You or someone else can make that call once you’re safely outside and away from danger. Rely on emergency professionals, including police and firefighters, to rescue any pets or belongings you may worry about. Never go back into a burning building for any reason!
If you can’t get out quickly because fire or smoke is blocking your exit, yell for help. Shout out of an open window for help. If you are near a phone, go ahead and call 9-1-1. Make sure you’re easy to find. Never hide under a bed or in a closet, because emergency professionals will have a hard time locating you.
It’s good to know what to do in case of a fire, but it’s also important to practice. That’s why schools have fire drills regularly. You should also practice what to do in case your clothes catch on fire: stop, drop and roll!