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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Does Stop, Drop, and Roll Really Work?

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

title over fire extinguisher Practice the safest way to extinguish a fire on your body. Stop, Drop, and Roll.

There are a few days in elementary school that stick with you for the rest of your life. Field Trips, special assemblies, fun science experiments, and the day the firefighter comes in to teach stop, drop, and roll. At the time it felt like a game, everyone was laughing and having a good time being allowed and even encouraged to roll around on the floor,  not really understanding what the importance of the exercise could actually be in a life-threatening situation. It may have felt silly back then and even more so as an adult, but the imperative question is – Does it work? 

Stop, drop, and roll does work. It is the best technique to put out a fire on the human body, or more precisely, to put out a fire that is on clothing that is being worn on the human body. The technique is extremely simple and easily remembered which is important because it is necessary during a time where every piece of knowledge you have acquired will be nowhere to be found. Having your clothes on fire is a situation likely to involve quite a bit of panic and it would not be a good time to try and recall an 18 step process you learned decades ago. 

As the name suggests this technique involves three fairly simple steps: 

  • Stop - the person who is on fire should stop immediately when they recognize that they are on fire. While it might seem a little trivial, continued motion can act to fan the flames and add more oxygen to the fire. This can make it burn faster and stronger and you don’t want that.
  1. Drop - this means the person who is on fire needs to drop to the ground, ideally into a full lying position, and at the same time they should cover their face with their hands (this will stop them from getting hurt as they carry out the last part of the process and may stop their face from getting burned too).
  2. Roll - then the goal is to roll over and over again (back and forth) until the fire is completely extinguished. 

It may be hard to fathom that such a basic tool really can save your life, but science proves backs it up. In order for fire to burn – it needs oxygen. When you roll around on the floor over and over, you are removing the oxygen source from the flames and thus extinguishing them. 

Hopefully, if you ever need to use this technique your clothes are the only thing on fire. If the unfortunate occurs and there are damages to your home and property from fire, calling SERVPRO — 1(800)SERVPRO — is the simple technique to do next, once everyone is safe from danger. With over 50 years of experience in fire damage restoration, they will take care of the rest. 

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