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Catastrophic Colorado Fire: Do You Have an Escape Plan?

In my blog a few days ago, I explained why fires are among the most destructive – and deadly – man-made catastrophes; how, in a few minutes, a building can go from a few flickers of flame to a total fire-charred rubble. I also provided some examples of public assembly buildings burned to the ground killing and injuring hundreds. In my next blog, I will take you through a typical “origin and cause” investigation designed to help expose those who are potentially responsible for the fire-caused destruction of buildings and loss of life.
For now, though, let’s look at the steps we can take to protect ourselves if our home catches on fire. How do we increase our chances of survival?
Step 1. Make sure your family has a plan. Because fires develop so quickly, you may only have a few minutes before your family is surrounded and overcome by smoke and flames. For each room in your house, know the best escape route, and have as many escape routes from each room as you can. If the escape route is through a window, made sure it is not stuck shut. Also, make sure escape is not prevented by security bars.
Step 2. Discuss with your family and practice your escape. This may require more than one escape route. Make sure everyone is comfortable feeling their way around each room in the dark. You must not only see the escape exit, but must be able to feel your way along to the exit.
Step 3. Don’t waste precious time by trying to retrieve personal property. You can replace the jewelry but not a family member.
Step 4. If a door is too hot to touch, don’t open it. There is a reason it’s hot and its spelled F-I-R-E. Go to another exit. If you open a door and flame and smoke pour in, close the door immediately.
Step 5. Once everyone is out of the house, never go back in. There are many examples where the loss of life was because someone successfully escaped only to return inside to grab a piece of personal property or a pet.
If you’re in a public building where a fire starts, things can get a little dicier, mainly because you are not as familiar with the escape routes. The main thing is not to panic. Remain claim. Know where the exits are and get to one of them quickly, but avoid a stampede. In a hotel, if there is smoke in the hallway, return to your room. That means you must grab your key before you leave the room.
When perusing fire litigation claims (such as wrongful death, catastrophic burn injury, property damage, or business interruption claims), it is crucial to hire an attorney who is experienced in this area. Whether you are seeking superior legal representation, or you are not even sure if you have a case, I would be pleased to hear from you. I will gladly evaluate all possible cases at a complimentary consultation and I am always happy to answer any questions you might have. If you would like more information on how I can assist you, please contact me.
Sources:
National Fire Protection Association,” Fire Loss in the U.S. 2007 and USFA’s Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2007.”
“Get Out Safely! A Factsheet on Fire Escape Planning,” The U.S. Fire Administration, March 2006

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