BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – It takes just seconds for a room to completely fill up with smoke when there’s a fire. A mobile fire safety classroom in Boardman shows just how critical every second is when trying to escape.
The mobile unit is stationed around town to help teach kids fire safety. The trailer has a bedroom and a kitchen, and firefighters fill the trailer up with imitation smoke to recreate a smoke-filled room.
It takes just 20 seconds for the rooms to fill up with smoke so thick that nothing can be seen except white vapor.
Getting close to the floor is the best bet for navigation, crawling to a door or window. But not knowing where you are in unfamiliar surroundings presents more dangers. This can be true for small children who are not used to navigating through doors they are not familiar within the home. That is why an escape plan is critical.
“There are a few families that I am aware of that will actually do the evacuation drill more than once,” said Lieutenant Jim McCreary, fire prevention officer, Boardman Fire Department.
McCreary said each fire is different, but there are a few things you can do. Get low to the ground, make your way to the door and feel it.
“If that door is hot, you are not going to use that as an evacuation route. That could mean you have a fire on the other side of the door,” McCreary said.
If the door is not passable, McCreary said to use bed clothes or clothing and tuck it underneath the door to the room you are in and then go to a window, but do not open it. Clear the window of any blinds and start waving.
McCreary said adrenaline kicks in during a fire but it is important to stay calm. The first call should be to 911, not a family member, or posting to social media.