UKIC / International Health, Safety & Security / Prep / Traveler Safety / Fire Safety

Fire Safety

Tips to Remember

Fire safety is an especially important consideration when choosing housing on international trips. Although options may be limited at some destinations, here are some tips to remember when looking for a place to stay: 

  • In industrialized countries, avoid staying above the seventh floor. 

  • In developing countries, avoid staying above the third floor. 

  • Avoid staying on the first floor if all windows are barred. 

  • Check your residence for fire escapes, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. 

  • Know at least two exits from the building. 

  • Check that smoke detectors are in good working order. If they are not, or if none are present, consider purchasing them. They should be placed in the common area, laundry room and inside sleeping rooms. Remember that smoke detectors are your first line of defense against fire. 

  • Plan and practice an escape route. 

  • Develop a nightly routine that includes locking all doors and windows, making sure the stove and oven are turned off and ensuring that all candles are properly extinguished. 

  • Print and review any fire safety tips from local authorities, and review information from organizations like NFPA and the Jasmine Jahanshahi Fire Safety Foundation

  • Make sure that you know the equivalent of 911 in your destination country. 

If you are in a fire: 

  • Check to see if a door is hot before opening it. If the door is hot, do not open it. Call the local equivalent of 911, give them your location, and state that you are unable to leave. Stuff wet towels around the base of the door, move to a window, and open it to let first responders know your location. If the door is opened, a backdraft may pull available oxygen out of the room and make it more difficult to breathe. 

  • If you need to attempt to evacuate through smoke to exit a building, cover your mouth and nose with a wet shirt or towel, stay low, and move toward the nearest exit away from the fire. Remember- smoke inhalation is very dangerous.