Presentation on theme: "Foster Care Fire Safety"— Presentation transcript:
1Foster Care Fire Safety IntroductionMedford Fire-Rescue Fire & Life Safety Division
2Foster Care Fire Safety Training What Will You Learn From This?Case Studies of Fire TragediesFire StatisticsFire BehaviorChallenges of Foster HomesOAR’sEmergency PlanningFire PreventionPurpose?To reduce the risk of tragedy
3Challenges to Provider/Caregiver Huge Responsibility and Liability3 minutes to evacuate all occupants1:5+ caregiver to occupant ratioIncreasing care needs of occupantsWhat About Fire?Discovering a fireCalling 911Deciding if you should fight the fireHow to react to a fire emergencyWho to evacuate firstWho to protect in placeGetting through the smoke and heat
4Medford Foster Home Structure Fire History - Victims January 30, 1985
5Medford Foster Home Structure Fire History - Victims January 30, 19852 elderly residents diedReported: 6:34 AMSingle story wood framed houseHusband and wife caretakers normally slept outside of the home at night in a travel trailerSmoke detectors awakened caretaker who that morning came in and fell asleep on the couch in the family roomShe saw flames from the upper part of the kitchen/dining room area utility closetThere was a delay in calling 911 (approx. 15 minutes)The cause of the fire was an electrical problem in a forced-air heating unitThe house contained two working smoke detectors
6Medford Foster Home Structure Fire History - Victims January 12, 1995
7Medford Foster Home Structure Fire History - Victims January 12, 19954 elderly residents diedReported: 11:34 PMSingle story wood framed houseFire Department reported upon arrival 25% of the structure in flames and heavy smoke coming from all openingsTwo people exited prior to FD arrival-one was the caregiverThe fire originated in a chair of a smoking roomThe caretaker admitted to drinking alcohol and falling asleep. She was awakened when she heard an “explosion”Oxygen cylinders ruptured accelerating the burningThe house contained 8 smoke detectors-all working except one with a missing battery
8Medford Foster Home Structure Fire History - Victims For one week the daughter watched their mother slowly die because of complications from smoke inhalation. Their mother pleaded the day before she died:“I hurt so bad, please help me”Her daughter stated:“You cannot watch your mother going through the agony she did for a week and not be angry”
9U.S. Statistics – Home Fires 384,000 home fires in the U.S.2,665 lives lost not including firefighters92% of structure fire deaths were in homes13,800 injured not including firefighters86% of civilian fire injuries were in home structure fires$7.1 billion dollars lost in residential fires68% of direct property losses due to fire were in homesOn average 100 firefighters die annually92% of structure fire firefighter fire ground fatalities were associated with home firesSmoking is the Leading Cause of Fire-related DeathsCooking is the Primary Cause of Residential FiresPurdue FireAnnually more than 3,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. Four out of five fire deaths occur in homes. The majority of victims are children and the elderly. Annually, on average 100 firefighters die, most fighting residential fires.
102010 Medford Structural Fire Statistics Structure Fires by Type:80% Residential20% Commercial
112010 Medford Structural Fire Statistics Residential Structure Fires by Type:67% Single Family Residence10% Duplex18% Multi-Family
122010 Residential Fire Statistics Time of Alarm:5% between 12:00 AM and 3:59 AM1.5% between 4:00 AM and 7:59 AM17% between 8:00 AM and 11:59 AM30% between 12:00 PM and 3:59 PM35% between 4:00 PM and 7:59 PM11.5% between 8:00 PM and 11:59 PM
132010 Residential Fire Statistics Areas of Origin:33% kitchens8% courtyard, patio, porch7% bedrooms7% common rooms (living room, den, family room)6% laundry areasCauses:80% unintentional15% intentional5% undeterminedInitial Ignition Heat Sources:12% radiated/conducted heat from operating equipment12% from powered equipment12% heat from hot ember or ash
142010 Residential Fire Statistics Smoke Alarms:53% present and alerted the residents35% did not alert or were not present
15Medford Fire Deaths Most Fire Deaths: Are caused from smoke inhalation Occur between midnight and 8:00 AM
16National Residential Fire Statistics-Primary Victims Young Children and Older Adults2-4 times more likely to die in a fire than general populationSource: NFPA
17National Residential Fire Statistics-Primary Victims Young ChildrenOften hide during firesMay sleep through a sounding smoke alarmOlder AdultsMay suffer from reduced sensory abilities such as smell, touch, vision, and hearingInability to smell smokeInability to feel if something is hotInability to see fires or notice fire causesInability to hear smoke alarms or fire soundsMay suffer from disabilitiesHave reduced reaction timesSource: USFA
18Fire Behavior Why 3 minutes? Studies have shown that the average safe window of escape time has been reduced from 17 minutes in the 1970’s to as little as three minutes currently.This change is attributed to the widespread use of hydrocarbons in modern furniture, such as polyurethane foams and plastics.These newer fuels cause more rapid fire growth.Smoke and products of combustion from these fires become deadly in a matter of just a few minutes.
19The Facts-Flashover Residents Do Not Survive Flashover Caused when the fire spreads very rapidly when all combustible items in a room reach their ignition temperatures simultaneouslyFlashover can occur in as little as 3-4 minutes1Post-flashover fires triple the number of victims2Most victims in post-flashover fires are found remote from the room of origin2FlashoverFlashover is the most dangerous phase of a room fire, where the fire is turbulent and is producing massive amounts of smoke and toxic gases. It is a phase of the fire where there is sufficient radiated heat to simultaneously ignite all of the combustibles in a room. It can occur in as little as 3-4 minutes. If someone is still in the structure when flashover occurs, even remotely from where the flashover takes place, they will most likely perish.
21Side-by-Side Bedroom Burn Demonstration Fire BehaviorSide-by-Side Bedroom Burn Demonstration
22Test Fire-Without Sprinklers The fire continued to grow in size and started rolling over across the ceiling.Sources: National Fire Sprinkler Association
23Test Fire-Without Sprinklers Temp.OF1400120010008006004002003” Below Ceiling60” Above Floor36” Above FloorIn the fire test conducted in the unprotected Living Room, the temperatures at head height became dangerous after 2 ½ minutes. The temperatures at 36” above the floor became dangerous after 3 minutes.Time (sec.)Sources: National Fire Sprinkler Association
24Test Fire-Without Sprinklers 4000300020001000Carbon MonoxideA concentration of as little as 0.04% (400 parts per million) carbon monoxide in the air can be fatal.PPMIn the fire test conducted in the unprotected Living Room, the carbon monoxide levels became toxic in as little as four minutes.Time (sec.)Sources: National Fire Sprinkler Association
25Test Fire-With Sprinklers Temp.OF140120100806040203” Below Ceiling60” Above Floor36” Above FloorIn the fire test conducted in the Living Room protected by fire sprinklers, the temperatures at head height did not come close to dangerous levels.Time (sec.)Sources: National Fire Sprinkler Association
26Test Fire-With Sprinklers 4000300020001000Carbon MonoxidePPMIn the fire test conducted in the Living Room protected by fire sprinklers, the carbon monoxide levels produced did not come close to toxic levels.Time (sec.)Sources: National Fire Sprinkler Association
27The Facts- Furnishings & Fuel Loads Heat Release Rates (HRR) (Btu/sec)Small wastebasketTV setCotton mattressPolyurethane mattress ( %)Cotton easy chairPolyurethane easy chair ( %)Polyurethane sofaArmchair (modern)Recliner (synthetic padding/covering)Christmas tree, dryPool of gasoline (2 quarts on concrete) 949Living room or bedroom fully involvedModern furniture contains high heat release rates in comparison to older furniture. The polyurethane foams and plastics in modern day furnishings are basically made out of hydrocarbons similar to gasoline. It has been said that polyurethane foam is just solidified gasoline. This is why we are experiencing such rapid and intense fires in homes.Sources: NFPA 921; Kirk’s Fire Investigation
28The Facts- Furnishings & Fuel Loads TVBtu/sec5-10’ flame heightWastebasket4-142 Btu/sec1-7’ flame heightPolyurethane MattressBtu/sec11-23’ flame heightThis slide shows a typical layout of a bedroom. With modern furnishings, the total fuel heat release rate (HRR) of the furnishings alone is 2-6 times what is required for flashover in this room. Flashover will happen in this room if the fire is allowed to grow uncontrolled.Desk ChairBtu/sec7-9’ flame heightMinimum Btu/sec HRR required for flashover in this typical bedroomSources: NFPA 921; Kirk’s Fire Investigation
29Video: UL Legacy vs. Modern Furnishings Fire BehaviorVideo: UL Legacy vs. Modern Furnishings
30Ceiling temp reaches 1,400 degrees Ceiling temp reaches 1,400 degrees. Flashover occurs engulfing all contents of the fire room and extending fire throughout homeA small fire starts in your homeSmoke reaches the smoke detectorCeiling temp. reaches 165 degrees. Smoke begins to layer downCeiling temp. reaches 1,000 degrees, visibility is reduced to zeroThe fire room and all contents are completely destroyed. Heat damage extends throughout the entire house, burning or melting all items within 5 feet of the ceiling. Smoke has blackened all contents of the house. Windows and roof vent holes must be boarded-up. All drywall will need to be replaced and all contents replaced or restored. Extensive water damage exists from firefighting efforts. Average time of displacement...6 months to a year.Time Line (minutes)You are awakened by thesmoke detectorYou investigate and find a fireYou awaken other family members and go to a neighbor to call 911You give the 911 operator the information and she notifies the fire dept.The fire dept. respondsA structure fire in an unprotected residence continues to grow. The atmosphere can become toxic within 3-5 minutes after ignition. The fire department rarely will be able to put water on the fire within 10 minutes after ignition. If flashover occurs, it is highly unlikely that anybody still in the structure will be able to survive.The fire dept. arrives, assesses the situation & applies 250 gpm to fire areas. Windows are broken and holes are cut in the roof to vent fire gases and smoke.Your Fire ScenarioSource: Oregon Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition
31Sprinkler System Fire Scenario A small fire starts in your homeSmoke reaches the smoke detectorCeiling temp. reaches 165 degrees. The fire sprinkler head over the fire activatesFire is controlled or completely extinguished. Sprinkler head continues to spray water at 15 gpm.Fire damage is limited to the objects in or near the initial fire. Heat damage is limited to the fire room. Heavy smoke damage is limited to the fire room. Water damage is limited to the sprinkler flow of 15 gpm (approx. 150 gal total). Average time of displacement from home days.Time Line (minutes)You are awakened by thesmoke detectorYou investigate and find a fireYou awaken other family members and go to a neighbor to call 911You give the 911 operator the information and she notifies the fire dept.The fire dept. respondsIn a residence protected by fire sprinklers, the fire is controlled before it gets to it’s most destructive phase. A minimal amount of water controls the fire long before the fire department arrives.The fire dept. arrives, assesses the situation and limits water damage by shutting down the water supply to the sprinkler system. The fire department then assists with initial clean-up operations.Sprinkler System Fire ScenarioSource: Oregon Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition
33DHS Rules for Fire Safety Orientation with 24 hours of arrival:Applies to any new resident or caregiverHow to respond to a smoke alarmHow to participate in an emergency evacuation drillBasic fire safety
34Emergency Evacuation Plan Written Emergency Plan:An emergency evacuation plan must be developed, and revised as necessary to reflect the current condition of the residents in the homeThe plan must be rehearsed with all occupants
36Emergency Evacuation Drills Purpose of Fire DrillsTo be ready should an occurrence happen, increasing the chanced of survivalA disorganized evacuation can lead to confusion, injury, death and property damageFrequency
37DHS Rules for Fire Safety Emergency Evacuation Fire Drills:The foster provider must be able to demonstrate the ability to evacuate all residents in foster care from the home within 3 minutes Required unannounced at least once every 90 daysRequired at least one drill practice per year occurring during sleeping hoursDrills must occur at different times of the day, evening and night, with exit routes being vartied based on the location of the simulated fireAll residents must participate in the evacuation drills.A new resident placed in foster care must receive orientation to basic safety, be shown how to respond to a fire alarm, and shown how to exit in an emergency
38DHS Rules for Fire Safety Emergency Evacuation Fire Drills:Alternate caregivers and other staff must be familiar with the emergency evacuation planFire drill records must be retained for at least two years. Records must contain the following information:Date and timeLocation of similated fire and exit routeThe last names of all individuals and providers present on the premises at the time of the drillThe type of evacuation assistance providedThe amount of time required by each individual to evacuateThe signature of the provider conducting the drill.
39What the Oregon Fire Code Says Self Preservation:The ability of building occupants to reach an approved predetermined point of safety without physical assistance from staff. Self preservation may be accomplished with the aid of technical devices or assistance animals.Assisted Self Preservation:The capability of a resident to evacuate to a point of safety with physical assistance.Point of Safety:Exterior to and away from the structure with access to a public sidewalk or street.
40What the Oregon Fire Code Says Assisted Self Preservation:A Group R-3 residential occupancy, subject to licensure bythe state, where personal care is administered for five orfewer persons, and whose occupants may require assisted self-preservation shall be classified as a Group SR-3 occupancy and shall comply with the provisions of Appendix SR.Group SR-3 occupancies require a residential sprinkler system.
41Home Fire Escape Drills Plan Ahead and Practice!Establish a safe meeting place.Teach your children to crawl on the floor to avoid smoke and heat. Show them how to feel the door with the back of their hand and to not open the door if it is hot to the touch.Make sure you have two ways out of every sleeping room, and that the windows can be opened easily. If the primary route is blocked by smoke or fire, you may have to escape through a window.Conduct a fire drill at night to determine your child’s response, and practice until it becomes routine.Practice home escape drills with your family monthly.Sleep with bedroom doors closed to provide a barrier of protection from smoke and heat spreading into your bedrooms.
42DHS Rules for Fire Safety Smoke Alarms:Must be installed in each bedroom, adjacent hallways leading to the bedrooms, common living areas, basements, and at the top of every stairway in multi-story homes.Must be equipped with a device that warns of low battery condition when battery operated. All smoke alarms are to be maintained in functional condition.Must contain a sounding device or be interconnected to other detectors to provide, when actuated, an alarm which is audible in all sleeping rooms.Bedrooms used by hearing-impaired occupants who may not hear the sound of a regular smoke alarm must be equipped with an additional smoke alarm that has visual or vibrating capacity.
43Smoke Alarms are Essential Provide an early warning of a fire developing in your homeShould be on every level of the home, in the immediate area outside of the sleeping rooms, and in every bedroomShould be tested monthlyAnyone that has a hearing disability should beprovided with a visual smoke alarmIf you discover your child will not wake to a traditional sounding alarm, consider installing a personalized parent voice alarmProperly placed and maintained smoke alarms increase your chances of surviving a fire by 50% Are missing or inoperable in 2/3 of deadly residential fires
44DHS Rules for Fire Safety Carbon Monoxide Detector:Must install at least one carbon monoxide detectorStatistics:Responsible annually for an average of:Over 400 deaths per yearOver 20,000 emergency room visits
45Carbon Monoxide Detectors Are required when you have fuel-fired appliances or any carbon monoxide sourceIncludes door opening between living space and garageProvide an early warning of a dangerous CO concentrations developing in your homeAccording to Oregon Administrative Rules, should be located within each bedroom or within 15 feet outside of each bedroom door. Bedrooms on separate floors in a structure containing two or more stories require separate carbon monoxide alarms.Should be installed according to manufacturer’s instructions
46Carbon Monoxide Safety measures: Safety measures:Never use portable fueled/unvented heaters in your home. These will cause a CO buildup and may also deplete the oxygen to dangerously low levels.Never use a gas oven to heat your homeNever use charcoal or propane fueled barbeques indoorsNever idle the car in the garage for extended periods of time or with the garage door closedNever use a generator in your homeHave your chimney checked or cleaned every year. Chimneys blocked by debris can cause CO to build up inside your home or cabin.Have your fuel-fired appliances inspected by a trained technician for proper venting
47DHS Rules for Fire Safety Fire Extinguishers:At least one fire extinguisher, minimally rated 2:A:10:B:C, must be visible and readily accessible on each floor, including basements.A qualified professional who is well versed in fire extinguisher maintenance must inspect every fire extinguisher at least once per year. All recharging and hydrostatic testing must be completed by a qualified entity properly trained and equipped for this purpose.
48How do I Use a Fire Extinguisher? Proper extinguisher use, think “PASS”:Pull trigger pin (Stand back several feet away from fire)Aim low, point the nozzle at the base of the fireSqueeze triggerSweep from side to side until the fire appears to be out
49DHS Rules for Fire Safety Bedrooms:Must be on ground level for individualswho are non-ambulatory or have impaired mobilityMust have at least one window or exterior door that readily opens from the inside without special tools and that provides a clear opening of not less than 821 square inches(5.7 sq. ft.), with the least dimensions not less than 22 inches in height or 20 inches in width.Window sill height must not be more than 44 inches from the floor level or there must be approved steps or other aids to window egress that may be used by individuals. Windows with a clear opening of not less than 5.0 square feet or 720 square inches with sill heights of 48 inches may be accepted when approved by the State Fire Marshal or designee.
50DHS Rules for Fire Safety Egress:Hardware for all exit doors and interior doors used for exit purposes must have simple hardware that cannot be locked against exit and must have an obvious method of single action operation.Hasps, sliding bolts, hooks and eyes, and double key deadbolts are not permitted.Homes with one or more individuals who have impaired judgment and are known to wander away from their place of residence must have a functional and activated alarm system to alert a caregiver of an unsupervised exit by an individual.
51DHS Rules for Fire Safety Egress:Foster homes must have two unrestricted exits in case of fire. A sliding door or window that may be used to evacuate a child may be considered a usable exit. Barred windows or doors used for possible exit in case of fire must be fitted with operable quick release mechanisms.Every bedroom used by a child in foster care must have at least one operable window, of a size that allows safe rescue, with safe and direct exit to the ground, or a door for secondary means of escape or rescue.
52DHS Rules for Fire Safety Egress:All external and inside doors must have simple hardware with an obvious method of operation that allows for safe evacuation from the home.A home with a child that is known to leave their place of residence without permission must have a functional and activated alarm system to alert the foster provider.
53DHS Rules for Fire Safety Flame Spread/Smoke Density:At least substantially comparable to wood lath and plaster or betterMaximum flame spread may not exceed Class III (76-200)Maximum smoke density may not be greater than 450If more than 10 percent of combined wall and ceiling areas in a sleeping room or exit way is composed of readily combustible material such as acoustical tile or wood paneling, such material must be treated with an approved flame retardant coating. Exception: Buildings supplied with an approved automatic sprinkler system.
54Portable Space Heater Fires Statistics:Responsible annually for an average of:62,200 fires670 deaths1,550 civilian injuries$909 million in property damagePrimary cause = too close to combustibles
55DHS Rules for Fire Safety Portable Space Heaters:Use of space heaters must be limited to only electric space heaters equipped with tip-over protectionSpace heaters must be plugged directly into the wall outletNo extension cords must be used with such heatersNo freestanding kerosene, propane, or liquid fuel space heaters must be used in the foster home
56Portable Space Heater Safety Safety measures:Keep heaters a minimum of 36” away from combustiblesPlug directly into a wall outlet. Don’t use an extension cordUse only heaters with built-in high temperature and tip-over shutoff featuresDo not use un-vented fuel-fired heaters indoorsDo not hang combustible items to dry over a heaterTurn off portable heaters when family members are sleeping or leave the houseKeep heaters out of high traffic areas and exit paths
57Cooking Fires Statistics: Responsible annually for an average of: 100,000 home fires400 deaths5,000 civilian injuries$200 million in property damagePrimary cause = unattended cooking
58Cooking Safety Safety measures: Never leave cooking food unattended Keep combustible material and loose clothing away from open flamesKeep the appliance and cooking area cleanUse extra caution with cooking oils as they can ignite easilyAlways turn the pan handle sideways
59Cooking Fires Statistics: Burns: Cooking is leading cause of burn injuries among older peopleBurns:Treat a burn immediatelyCool a burn with cool water, never iceCover a burn with a clean, dry cloth or bandageDon’t use ointment, spray, or butterIf a burn is larger than your fist, get medical help.If you have questions about burn injuries, the Oregon Burn Center atFor life threatening emergencies, call 9-1-1Source: OSFM; USFA
61Candle Fires Statistics: Responsible annually for an average of: 23,600 home fires165 deaths1,525 civilian injuries$300 million in property damagePrimary cause = unattended candles
62Candle Safety Safety Measures: If You Must Use Candles: Consider a “no candle” policyUse LED candles insteadIf You Must Use Candles:Blow out candles before leaving the roomKeep candles away from items that can burnAlways use sturdy metal, glass or ceramic candle holdersPlace candles out of reach of small children and pets
63Fireplace/Wood Stove Fires Statistics:Responsible annually for an average of:25,000 fires20-50 deaths90 civilian injuries$126 million in property damagePrimary causes =Issue with flueIgniting combustibles in room
64DHS Rules for Fire Safety Fireplaces and Wood Stoves:Must include secure barriers to keep a child safe from potential injury and away from exposed heat sources.Chimneys must be inspected at the time of initial certification and if necessary the chimney must be cleaned. Chimneys must be inspected annually, unless the fireplace and or solid fuel-burning appliance was not used through the year of certification and may not be used in the future.A signed statement by the foster provider and certifier assuring that the fireplace and or solid fuel-burning appliance may not be in use must be submitted to the Division with the renewal application if a chimney inspection may not be completed.
65Electrical Fires Statistics: Responsible annually for an average of: 310 deaths1,100 civilian injuries$1.1 billion in property damageHomes more than 40 years old are 3 times more likely to catch fire from electrical causes than homes years oldPrimary causes =Extension cordsIncorrectly installed wiringOverloading circuitsSource: USFA
66DHS Rules for Fire Safety Extension Cords:Extension cords must not be used in place of permanent wiring.
67Electrical Safety Safety measures: Replace electrical cords that show signs of damage, and never coil or walk on cordsAvoid using extension cords. Use a power strip with a built-in circuit breaker insteadAvoid overloading circuitsHave an electrician check your house if fuses blow or breakers trip frequentlyHave an electrician check your house if you frequently experience dimming of lightingSource: USFA
68Smoking Statistics: The leading cause of fire-related deaths Accounts for nearly 1/3 of fire deaths in adults over age 70
69DHS Rules for Fire Safety Smoking:No smoking allowed within the Foster HomeSmoking may be allowed outside onlySmoking must be a minimum 10’ away from doors & windows
70Smoking Safety measures: Always discard smoldering and spent cigarettes properlyUse large non-combustible deep and tip resistant ashtraysNever smoke in bedNever smoke while using oxygen. Warn visitors not to smoke near you.Douse cigarettes with water before throwing them in the trashAlways keep matches/lighters out of reach of children
71Clothes Dryer Fires Statistics: Responsible annually for an average of:15,500 home fires10 deaths310 injuries$84.4 million in property damage.
72Clothes Dryer Fires Safety measures: Clean the lint screen before every useClean out exhaust vents regularly and check for proper airflowUse a smooth metal exhaust vent (avoid using foil or plastic venting)Use a cool-down cycle to prevent the possibility of spontaneous ignitionDo not dry clothing/fabric on which there is anything flammable (alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers, dry-cleaning solvents, etc.)Cotton fabrics are susceptible to spontaneous ignition if they have interacted with oils even if they have been laundered with detergent. Any fabric that has been exposed to oils should be stored in a covered metal container.
73Holiday-Christmas Tree Fires Statistics:Responsible annually for an average of:- 400 home fires- 10 deaths- 80 injuries- $15 million in property damage.
74Holiday-Christmas Tree Fires Safety Measures:Do not use open flames or candles near a Christmas tree.Do not place the tree near heating vents, fireplaces, or other heat sources.The tree should be removed from the house whenever the needles or leaves fall off readily when a tree branch is shaken or if the needles are brittle and break when bent between the thumb and index finger.The tree should be checked daily for dryness. Check the water level daily. A 6’ tree will consume approximately 1 gallon of water every two days. If it is not consuming water, then it is drying.Make sure the stand is secure and stableDo not place the tree near an exitCheck the wiring and lights for defects before they are hung on the tree. Miniature lights are recommended, as they use less power and produce less heat
75DHS Rules for Fire Safety Flammable/Combustible/Hazardous Materials:Must be stored in a safe area not accessible to residentsMust be stored in original properly labeled containersMust be stored away from any heat source
77What to Do in a Fire In case of fire, think “RACE”: Do not: Rescue all persons in immediate areaAlarm: announce the fire- Pull alarm and dial 911Confine the fire by closing doorsEvacuate/Extinguish the fire if possibleDo not:Try to fight the fire unless it is very smallAttempt to re-enter a burning homeSources: Oregon Fire Code, NFPA, OSHA, and Numerous Business Emergency Plans.
78What If I Am Unable to Get Out? Create an area of refuge for yourselfSeal the roomUse wet cloth to stuff around cracks in doors and seal up vents to protect against smokeDo not break the windowsFlames and smoke can come back in from the outside. If you need air, open the window a crackStay low under the smokeThe freshest air is near the floor. Keep a wet cloth over your nose and mouth and breath through your nose onlySignal for helpUse the telephone, or hang something out the windowSources: Fire Safety for Older Persons, Seattle Fire Department.