What Does the Acronym RACE Stand For in Fire Safety?

While it’s often a good idea to stay cool, calm, and collected whenever a fire breaks out, it’s not always a reality. Some people start to panic when they come face-to-face with the spreading smoke and flames. And who can blame them? A fire is a dangerous situation! It can be absolutely overwhelming when your safety is at risk, which can make it difficult to remember and follow proper fire safety procedures.


This panic is completely understandable, so experts have created certain acronyms to help make fire safety best practices easier to remember. RACE, for example, stands for Remove/Rescue, Alarm/Alert, Confine/Contain, and Extinguish/Evacuate, and this is exactly what you need to do if you encounter a fire. Let’s take a closer look at the RACE acronym below.



After you’ve been alerted to the presence of a fire, you should immediately stop what you’re doing and take a quick scan around the room. Not only is it important to make sure that you have a clear escape route, but you should also see if anyone else needs assistance getting out of the building. Sometimes, helping others can bring a sense of calmness to a chaotic situation, which can result in better decision-making during an emergency.


If you do happen to see others, focus on helping those who are injured or are otherwise unable to get to safety. Those who don’t have any issues should be able to get out themselves.



Let others know about the fire. If the alarm system hasn’t been activated yet and it’s safe to do so, go ahead and pull the trigger. This will alert everyone else in the building and may also alarm the local fire department.


On the other hand, if you’re unable to get to a fire alarm pull station, then call 911 once you’ve reached safety. The operator will probably ask about your location, details about the fire, and if there are any injuries, so try and be ready with this information.



This is referring to confining/containing the fire, as it can help slow or stop it from spreading quickly around the area. Once everyone is safely out of the room or building housing the fire, you should try to close every door and window you pass as you make your way to safety.


However, make sure you’re not blocking or trapping anyone as you’re closing everything. Always keep your eyes and ears open as you make your way through the building just in case.



If the fire is small, you can safely reach a fire extinguisher, and you’re confident in your ability to use it, then attempt to put out the fire. Just remember to PASS:


  • Pull the pin to break the seal
  • Aim the nozzle of the extinguisher at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze the handles together
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side


Those who aren’t confident in their extinguishing abilities or simply aren’t near one should just focus on evacuating the building. Remember, everyone’s safety should be the top priority in a fire, so don’t put yourself at risk if it isn’t necessary.


Want to learn more about fire extinguishers and other fire safety tips? Contact Fire-Alert today to see how we can help!