How to stay safe during a house fire

Topics: National, First Aid and CPR
December 05, 2012

How to stay safe during a house fire

The holiday season is a wonderful time for celebrating and reconnecting with loved ones. From hanging up string lights to decorating Christmas trees, there are a variety of heartwarming activities you can share with relatives to ring in the new year.

While your family embraces the holiday spirit of togetherness, you may also want to consider brushing up on your knowledge of fire safety. 

The role of the Canadian Red Cross
As the country's leading charitable organization, the Canadian Red Cross responds to emergency situations wherever they strike by providing those in need with access to essential programs. In so doing, the Canadian Red Cross helps people affected by crisis gain the tools to start over. 

The Canadian Red Cross plays a crucial role preparing individuals for potential incidents by offering a range of services, including First Aid and CPR courses, which help Canadians across the country acquire the skills to react quickly and decisively in the event of a fire-related emergency.

A few of these great tips from the Canadian Red Cross can help you and your loved ones stay safe this season.

What to do when a fire breaks out
According to a recent poll by the Canadian Red Cross, 12 per cent of Canadians have experienced a fire-related disaster, yet only two-thirds of Canadians noted that they took steps to prepare for a potential incident.

If a fire breaks out in your home, you should immediately evacuate the area and notify emergency staff from a neighbour's house. Crawling under low smoke can prevent your family from inhaling harmful toxins - if you notice that a door handle is hot, you should look for an alternate exit out of the room. If you're unable to exit, you should place a wet towel underneath the door and begin calling for help from a window.

What to do after a fire
An emergency preparedness kit filled with items such as food, water, clothing and important documents can be crucial once you leave the house, so storing it in an area near an exit is a good idea. You can assemble a kit of your own or purchase one at

After evacuating, families often face a variety of other problems, including where to stay. In the event that your home has been damaged extensively, you should reach out to your local government's office for help finding temporary housing. You should also check with authorities in your town to see if you qualify for financial assistance.

The benefits of emergency preparedness
Fires can be devastating, leading to family separations as well as loss of property. However, the Canadian Red Cross can offer invaluable help and resources during this time.

By purchasing an emergency preparedness kit, you can feel confident knowing that your family will be ready if disaster strikes and will have the resources needed to survive the first 72 hours following an incident.

Another great way to improve disaster response in your area is to consider giving to the Canadian Red Cross. The programs provided by the Canadian Red Cross help people in need but depend on the generous support of Canadians just like you.

To learn more, please visit us online or contact your local Canadian Red Cross office today. Click here for more information about fire safety.

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