Fatal mistakes people make in a house fire - AmericaNowNews.com


Fatal mistakes people make in a house fire

Recent statistics show that about 85 percent of all U.S. fire deaths occurred in homes. Do you know what to do if a fire were to break out where you live?

The answer for far too many people is "no," so America Now Host Bill Rancic joined members of the Santa Monica Fire Department to reveal the deadly mistakes people often make.

"I have a great respect for firefighters," says Bill. "My cousins are firemen in Chicago, and I know all too well the harrowing dangers they face in deadly house fires. So when I got the chance to take part in some drill exercises with the Santa Monica Fire Department, I jumped at the chance!" 

It was an action-packed day that began with Bill gearing up in the same turnouts all firefighters wear. Training Chief Jose Torres says that the lightweight suit, made of Nomex and Kevlar, is what protects a firefighter from extreme heat.

The face mask protects a firefighter's respiratory tract from being scorched by the hot air and toxic smoke, which can kill you in seconds. That's why Chief Torres says never go back into a house to get personal belongings.

"They can become hypoxic because they're inhaling smoke," says Torres. "Hypoxic means that you don't have enough oxygen in your system to really think clearly."

Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death in a house fire. Chief Torres says many people are killed because they don't stay low to the floor.

"Get low. That's where it's cooler," says Torres.

He says another mistake people make is not checking a door for heat before opening it.

"If you feel that the doorknob is hot, you know there's heat behind that door," he adds.

Opening a door with flames on the other side can fuel that fire with oxygen, and cause it to quickly spread. But for Chief Torres, the most heart-breaking mistake involves frightened children, who hide in closets and under beds, making it difficult for rescuers to find them.

Little kids often hide because they think the firemen are monsters. Remember, if your house catches fire:

  • Stay low to the floor where the air is cooler
  • Never open a door before checking to see if it's hot
  • Teach children not to hide
  • Once you've escaped, never go back inside

"Spending a day with firefighters really makes you appreciate the men and women who protect us," says Bill. "One more thing I took away from the experience is that the confusion created during a fire is extreme. Planning ahead can make all the difference."

Copyright 2013 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:04:54 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
Powered by WorldNow