Some ways to prevent fires include installing smoke alarms on each floor of the house and agreeing on a fire escape plan, according to the American Red Cross. In the case of a fire, people typically have about two minutes to reach safety.
The Prepare tab of the American Red Cross site lists tips about how to prevent fires, such as keeping flammable items away from space heaters, not smoking in bed, keeping matches and lighters away from children and not leaving portable heaters unattended. The Respond During tab states that in the event of a fire, one must leave the house immediately and call 911. When exiting a burning house, it is advisable to crawl beneath any smoke. Doors that are warm to the touch are dangerous to open. If heat, smoke or flames overwhelm an exit, it is important to stay inside the room, keep the door closed and plug the door sill with a wet towel. Keeping an open window lets in fresh air, and waving a bright cloth or flashlight signals for help.
The National Fire Protection Association offers many tips on fire prevention, which it classifies under categories such as the causes of fires, escape planning, fire equipment, safety equipment, household equipment and seasonal fires, among others.