Lessons from ‘This is Us’: Don’t try to save your dog

Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack in NBC’s “This is Us.”
Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack in NBC’s “This is Us.”

It’s probably not a good idea to run back into a burning building. Just ask Jack from “This is Us.”

The firey episode of “This is Us” was tragic in more ways than one and now one safety organization wants to help people avoid such deadly mistakes.

The episode dramatized a home fire and now the National Fire Protection Association is using it as an opportunity to educate people about fire safety.

“ ‘This is Us’ showed viewers how characters’ actions and oversights led to tragedy and provides a powerful opportunity to talk about what can be done to prevent fire fatalities in real life,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of outreach and advocacy .

While the number of U.S. home fires has declined in recent decades, the likelihood of dying if you have a home fire has increased. Today’s home fires burn faster, minimizing the amount of time people have to escape safely, according to NFPA.

If you don’t want Sunday’s episode spoiled for you, go watch it and come back.

Sunday’s episode showed the Pearson family make “critical errors” in escaping a home fire, according to the NFPA.

No one should ever re-enter a burning building.

“Getting outside and staying out once you’ve escaped a burning building is among the most critical take-aways from the show,” said Carli. “If a person or pet is still trapped inside, tell the firefighters where you think that person might be. Never ever go back inside a burning building.”

It’s unlikely that Jack Pearson would have been able to re-enter the home, find the dog and other mementos and safely exit through the front door with the fire raging.

A home escape plan could have helped the Pearsons, according to NFPA, ensuring that each family member knew how to exit the house as effectively and efficiently as possible. They also would have known to call the fire department immediately after getting safely out of the house.

Previous “This is Us” episodes highlighted the importance of installing batteries in smoke alarms and making sure cooking appliances are in good working order and kept well away from anything that can burn.

The majority of fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms, according to NFPA research.

For more information and safety tips, go to

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization “devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards.”