Escaping a house fire: Valley departments show us how

Posted at 10:08 PM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 10:43:16-04

ABC15 is taking a special look at how Valley firefighters are preparing for the unexpected -- and trying to keep all of us safe in the process.

Do you know the ins and outs of escaping a house fire?  

Those open floor plans that we idealize on HGTV could actually make a house fire worse. First responders tell us that's because all that open space means a lot of oxygen, which is what fires need to grow. 

And remember, always keep your bedroom door closed. It may seem counterintuitive, but in the event of a fire, that door will create a barrier between you and the flames.

But the heat isn't the only thing you have to worry about -- the smoke is typically more deadly and can create a blinding effect for firefighters. 

Glendale Fire does a special drill where an insert is placed in a firefighter's mask to mimic the blinding effects of smoke. From there, the firefighter has to find the hose line again -- a crucial task, as it usually means finding the rest of your team and also finding your way out.  

But homes aren't the only place house fires can break out.  

What happens if a fire starts at your place of employment? Maybe while you're shopping at a big box store? Communication is key in these situations. 

Your work should have an escape plan. When first responders get there, communicate right away if you think someone may still be inside that building.

We have to thank a number of Valley fire departments for helping us with this Taking Action Event, including Scottsdale Fire, Chandler Fire, and Glendale Fire. Thank you for all you do to keep us safe!