BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - They are situations you never want to be in, but you better know how to handle them if you find yourself right in the middle of one, like a fire.
The alert caused by a smoke alarm going off is never the sound a person wants to wake up to. In this scenario, you awaken to a bedroom full of smoke. Think fast - what do you do next?
"Preparation is everything when it comes to a fire emergency," said Richard Fort, a fire inspector with the Baton Rouge Fire Department.
Being prepared can save your life. People are urged to have a plan in place in case a fire happens. You should have two ways out, a meeting place outside and more.
If you wake up to a fire with smoke everywhere, don't walk around blindly through bedrooms and hallways. The first thing you need to do is get low.
"You get low in smoke because there is that barrier from floor to ceiling…just above floor level, there is a barrier in which you can get to the door," Fort explained.
However, you should not just open because what is waiting for you on the other side could kill you.
"The toxins from the heated smoke and flames will overtake you and, as we find, a lot of our fire deaths are from smoke inhalation," Fort added.
People are urged to check the door with the back of their hand, which is the most sensitive part, to search for heat. Open it slowly, but continue to stay low. If you happen to pass a phone on your way out, don't he think about stopping to use it.
"In this day and time, just about everyone we know has a cell phone, so you want to exit the house," Fort said.
Once outside, then you can make the call to 911. It is not something to do from inside the house.
Now, what if you find yourself in a situation in which you've done what you were supposed to and made a plan with two escape routes, but they are both blocked by flames? You're stuck and your world is quickly collapsing around you.
"One of the things I would do is see which is the worse - the window or the door - and then you just mentioned blankets or some type of covering to protect yourself. It's a split second decision. You have to pick one. Go with it, cover yourself as best you can and get out," Fort said.
Just think fast and save your life.