Install Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors can alert you to a fire in your home in time for you to escape, even if you are sleeping. Be sure to have smoke detectors outside or in all sleeping areas, and on every level of your home. If you sleep with the door closed, install one inside your sleeping areas as well. Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries once a year or when the detector is "chirping" to indicate that the battery is low. If you are hearing impaired, use tested and approved smoke detectors that trigger a strobe light. Follow manufacturers instructions for installation.

Plan Your Escape

If a fire breaks out in your home, you have to get out fast.

Have a Plan: The best way to survive a fire in your home or apartment is to sit down with your family and agree on an escape plan. Decide on a meeting place outside where everyone will meet after they escape. Once there are at least two members of your family at your meeting place, send one member to a neighbor's house to call the fire department. Practice your plan.

Know Two ways Out: Plan two escape routes from every room in your home. If you live in an apartment or high rise, know all building exits. Count the number of doorways between your apartment and the two nearest exits. Do not use an elevator as an exit!

Unlocking Doors and Windows: Know how they operate and Make sure they open easily and fully. All security-barred windows and doors should be equipped with quick-release devices that every household member can operate.

If Fire Strikes

Test Doors Before You Open Them: Kneeling or crouching at the door, reach up as high as you can and touch the door with the back of your hand. If the door is cool, open it cautiously and continue along your escape route. If it is hot, keep the door closed and use your 2nd escape route or stay in your room.

Crawl Low Under Smoke: If you must exit through smoke, crouch or crawl. Heat and smoke rise; cleaner, cool air will be 12" to 24" inches above the floor.

Get Out and Stay Out! If you return to your home, your chances of severe injury or death are doubled.

Stop, Drop and Roll! If your clothing catches fire, stop where you are, drop gently to the floor, cover your face with your hands to protect your face from flames, and roll over and over to smother the flames. If you can't drop to the floor, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.

If You Are Trapped: Remain Calm. Close all doors between you and the smoke. If there is a phone in the room, call the fire department and tell the dispatcher where you are trapped. Call the fire department even if you see fire trucks out your window. Stuff rags, towels or clothing in the cracks around doors to keep smoke out. Wait at a window, and signal firefighters by waving a cloth or flashlight and wait to be rescued.

For further information:
Oxnard Fire Department

(805) 385-7722
Last Updated: Oct 27 2007