URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/fires.html

Fires

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Summary

Whether a fire happens in your home or in the wild, it can be very dangerous. Fire spreads quickly. There is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a home can be engulfed in flames.

Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super-hot air can burn your lungs. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. You can suffocate or be burned.

Preventing fires is an important part of fire safety. Although there are no guarantees of safety during a fire, you can take actions to protect yourself. You should have a disaster plan. Being prepared can help reduce fear, anxiety and losses.

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