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Content developed in collaboration with National Organization on Disability's Emergency Preparedness Initiative


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Both house fires and wildfires produce poisonous gases that cause disorientation and drowsiness.

How to Prepare for a Fire

  • See Get A Kit and Make A Plan for general information
  • Know the location of a fire blanket if you are unable to stop, drop, and roll
  • Have at least two working smoke alarms; test them monthly
    • Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the deaf or hard of hearing
    • Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the house to catch the attention of neighbors and emergency call systems for summoning help are also available
  • If you have a mobility disability, arrange to sleep on the first floor of a multi-story home so you may escape fasters
  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to make sure you can get through doorways
  • Clean out storage areas; do not let trash accumulate
  • Install fire extinguishers in your home

How to Respond to a House Fire

  • If you or your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop, and roll or use a fire blanket
  • If you are escaping through a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the door before you open it and never use the palm of your hand or fingers to test for heat
    • Hot door: do not open
    • Cool door: open slowly and make sure fire and/or smoke is not blocking your escape route
  • Stay low under any smoke to your exit; heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling
  • Close doors behind you as you escape to delay the spread of the fire
  • If you cannot get out safely:
    • Close all doors between you and the fire and smoke
    • Stuff cracks around doors and cover all vents to keep smoke out
    • Call 9-1-1, report the fire, and tell them exactly where you are trapped
    • While waiting for rescuers, signal from a window, if possible, by waving a light-colored cloth
  • Stay out once you are safely out
  • Assemble at your family's meeting location
  • Call 9-1-1

How to Respond to a Wildfire

More Information