Stop, drop and roll

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This article is about the safety technique. For the album by Foxboro Hot Tubs, see Stop Drop and Roll!!!. For the single by Mareko, see Stop, Drop and Roll.

Stop, drop and roll is a simple fire safety technique taught to children, emergency services personnel and industrial workers as a component of health and safety training.

Primarily, it is a method to extinguish a fire on a person's clothes or hair without, or in addition to, the use of conventional firefighting equipment.

In addition to extinguishing the fire, stop, drop and roll is an effective psychological tool, providing those in a fire situation, particularly children, with a routine that can be focused on in order to avoid panic.


Stop, drop and roll consists of three components.[1]

  1. Stop – The fire victim must stop, ceasing any movement which may fan the flames or hamper those attempting to put the fire out.
  2. Drop – The fire victim must drop to the ground, lying down if possible, covering their face with their hands to avoid facial injury.
  3. Roll – The fire victim must roll on the ground in an effort to extinguish the fire by depriving it of oxygen. If the victim is on a rug or one is nearby, they can roll the rug around themselves to further extinguish the flame.

The effectiveness of stop, drop and roll may be further enhanced by combining it with other firefighting techniques, including the use of a fire extinguisher, dousing with water, or fire beating one's skin.

In popular culture[edit]

The phrase is frequently used, in popular culture, to indicate an emergency or critical situation. Examples include:

  • A Centric cable TV station promotional clip for the American comedy-drama Girlfriends, which features a scene wherein the law office of William Jerrowme Dent (played by Reggie Hayes) is ablaze, and Dent yells, "Stop, drop, and roll!", before performing those actions.
  • In the first quarter of the 2000 comedy film, Next Friday, one of the characters yells the phrase to indicate a critical moment that is unrelated to fire.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Brother's Little Helper", Ned Flanders plays a character in a fire safety skit that shows him purposely setting himself on fire with fireproof stunt pants. When the flame gets too hot, his wife tells him to stop, drop, and roll. However, as he is rolling on the ground, the flame grows, and he responds, "It's not working, it just spreads the flames!"
  • In the Open-world sandbox videogames Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V, when the player is set on fire for any reason, and is not moved by the player, the character will make use of this technique, sometimes to no effect.
  • In the 1995 LucasArts computer game Full Throttle, a public address announcer at a demolition derby remarks, "I guess the Avenger never heard of Stop, Drop, and Roll, huh?" when Ben, the protagonist disguised as the Avenger, runs around the arena while on fire.


  1. ^ Schottke, David (2014). "Fundamentals of Fire Fighter Skills". Jones & Bartlett Publishers. p. 1016. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 

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