to Survive a Fire in a Public Building
Consider your personal safety before you enter a public building.
Look at the doors and windows. Door and window security bars that lack
quick-release mechanisms could slow or impede escape if there is a fire.
Narrow exits or too few exits, and exit doors that open inward, instead
of out toward the street, are also danger signs.
Based on building design and other criteria, buildings are rated for
a certain number of people to be inside at a given time. Too many people
inside could overload the exiting arrangement in an emergency, making
it difficult for people to safely escape. If the building looks or feels
overcrowded, don't go inside.
Once inside a building, immediately look around. Look up, toward the
ceiling. Can you see fire sprinkler heads spaced along piping, or inset
in the ceiling? If you can, that's a good sign.
You must be able to see EXIT signs and the exit doors they identify.
If you cannot, leave immediately.
All exits should be clearly marked with the doors unlocked and unobstructed.
All pathways leading to the doors should be clear.
If you enter a public building and cannot easily locate exit signs and
doors, or if you see exit doors with padlocks or obstructions, leave
immediately. Inform local fire officials if you notice padlocked exits
in any public building.
If you see something that makes you uncomfortable, such as open flames
on candles or torches, or perhaps pyrotechnics displays don't stay. Leave
the building if you don't feel safe.
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to
respond immediately if there is an emergency. If you hear the fire alarm
sound, don't assume it is a false alarm even if others don't respond.
React fast, moving quickly but calmly toward the exit that is closest
Remember that the closest exit could be behind you. And remember that
the closest exit isn't necessarily the door you came in.
If you are on an upper floor of the building when the alarm goes off,
use the stairs to exit; don't use the elevator.
As soon as you are outside, move well away from the building and meet
up with the rest of your party. Stay clear of fire and emergency vehicles.
It's a good idea to have a meeting plan when you are out with friends
- know in advance where you will meet, or how you will contact one another
- if you get separated
When choosing a hotel, it's good practice to ask if fire sprinklers
are installed in all guestrooms before you make hotel reservations