Ten Fire Fatalities In Six Days: How To Stay Safe - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Ten Fire Fatalities In Six Days: How To Stay Safe

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by Marcus Washington

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -  A string of deadly fires across the Middle Tennessee area is prompting new concerns about fire safety.  Fire officials say a fire in your home can quickly grow out of control, creating huge flames and thick black smoke within just three minutes.

"The number one (mistake) that people make is underestimating how fast the fire can spread," said Captain Maggie Lawrence with the Nashville Fire Department.

Since Thursday, there have been six fatal fires in Middle Tennessee, killing a total of 10 people in Paris, Shelbyville, Lafayette, Hohenwald, Baxter and Erin.

"Always stay calm, because if you are calm then you are able to stay in control of yourself. When you panic, you are out of control," said Lawrence.

She said having an escape plan and practicing it is the best way to be prepared if a fire happens in your home, "So we can have one all day long, but if we do not practice it, it does it no good."

Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are also must-haves.  There is nothing better to save your life in a fire; and make sure to check those detectors at least once a month.

"When you break the window you're introducing oxygen, which is going to feed the fire. So, if you are in a room and the door is closed and smoke is coming in, before you open that window you want to make sure you stuff some type of material underneath the door," said Lawrence.

Captain Lawrence said if you are trying to escape a fire and come upon heavy smoke, turn and go the other way.

Also, if there is too much smoke around you, crawl on the floor where the oxygen flow is better.

If you live with someone who is handicapped or bedridden, Lawrence says include them in the escape practices and have a plan in place.

She added, never re-enter a burning home once you are out.

Email: mwashington@newschannel5.com
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