Test Your Fire Safety IQ

  • Doss, Howard J.


  1. D. All the answers are right! Every escape plan should include knowing the ways out of every room in cause your primary exit is blocked by smoke or fire. When developing your escape plan, be sure to check all exits to see that you can actually get out. Burglar bars without quick-release devices, windows painted or bolted shut, furniture blocking doors, etc., are all dangerous fire hazards that should be corrected immediately. For homes built in the wildland/urban interface, it is also important to know two escape routes from your home in case one road is blocked by traffic or fire.
  2. C. Everyone in the household should participate in developing the home fire escape plan, including children. Here:s how: Draw a floor plan of your home and show two ways out of every room and a meeting place outside. Then walk through your home and make sure all the doors and windows are clear and open easily. Practice your escape plan, trying all possible exits at least twice a year. If there are very old, very young, or physically impaired people in your family, try to locate their sleeping rooms on the lowest level and plan to have a family member assist them with their escape.
  3. D. If fire breaks out, leave the building immediately and be sure everyone else inside does the same. Once safely outside, call the fire department from a neighbor:s home or use a call box, and stay out of the building.
  4. B. False. Never use an elevator during a fire. Elevators could be trapped in between floors or even take you to the floor where the fire is and stall. Use stairways for fire escape.
  5. B. Never go back inside a burning building. If you think someone is trapped inside, immediately inform the fire department or tell fire firefighters on the scene where you think the person can be found. Fire fighters are trained and equipped to safely perform rescues. It is very dangerous to go inside a burning building if you are unprotected by the proper clothing and breathing apparatus or if you are untrained in fire rescues.
  6. A. Roughly three out of every ten home fire deaths occur in the hours of midnight to 4 a.m., when most people are asleep. This time is one of the lowest-frequency periods for home fires, but because fires can develop undetected, an early morning fire is especially likely to be fatal. This underscores the importance of installing smoke detectors on every level of your home, including the basement. They can give you advance warning of a fire and provide extra time to escape.
  7. D. In a fire, smoke is heated and rises. It fills the room from the ceiling down. If you encounter smoke or flames on your way out, turn around and use your alternate exit. If you must escape through smoke, crouch or crawl under the smoke, keeping your head about 12 - 24 inches off the floor. This is the safety zone, where the air will be cooler and cleaner.
  8. B. This is false. Before you open the door, kneel or crouch and put the back of your hand against the door, the knob, and the crack between the door and the door frame. If the door feels hot, it means there is fire on the other side and you should use your alternate exit. If the door feels cool, slowly open it with our shoulder braced in case you have to slam it shut. If all is clear, escape carefully, closing doors behind you as you go.
  9. B. False! There is no time to do anything but get out of the burning building and yell for others to do the same. Real fires are nothing like what we see on television and in the movies. In a real fire it is hot, dark, smokey, and noisy. You have only a few moments to escape safely, so know before you have a fire two ways out of every room and be sure windows and doors open easily and are clear at all times.
  10. C. Stop, drop and roll is the phrase to remember if your clothing should catch on fire. Running will only fan the flames and increase your chance of greater injury. Here:s what to do: Stop right where you are, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands if you can, and roll over and over to extinguish the flames. If someone else:s clothing catches on fire and you are unable to convince them to stop, drop and roll, try to knock them to the ground, then smother the flames with a rug, heavy coat or other large covering that can be used to extinguish the flames.
  11. C. Generally, it is not a good idea to break the window, as falling glass can harm people outside and damage fire hoses. It is dangerous to jump from a window higher than the second story. Ideally, you should have a safe escape means from rooms on the second or third stories, such as laboratory approved fire escape ladders. If you are trapped and it is dangerous to jump, close the door and cover the cracks to keep smoke out. Call the fire department and tell them your location, or signal at the window with a light-colored cloth. If the window opens, crack it at the top and bottom to let air in and smoke out. Be prepared to shut the window quickly if smoke is drawn in. Try to stay calm and breath normally as you await rescue.
  12. D. You should know two ways out of every room wherever you are. Always be aware of your surroundings and know how you would get out in an emergency. Look for exit signs when you are in restaurants, cinemas, malls, etc., and make a mental note how you would escape. Be sure exit doors are not blocked or padlocked, and if they are, get out and report it to the local fire department. When staying with friends, ask them what their escape plan is and familiarize yourself with exits. At work, participate in fire drills and count the number of desks or doors between your work area and the nearest exits. If you have to escape in darkness or smoke, you can count your way to safety.

Michigan State University, Agricultural Engineering Department.

Howard J. Doss, Safety Leader, Agricultural Engineering Department, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1323.

This information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by the MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More