How a Belt and Fire Extinguisher Can Save Your Life in the Event of a Shooting

Would you know how to make it out alive if you heard gunfire?

As survivors from Thursday’s shooting at a Maryland newspaper filed out of the building with their hands up, many are asking a critical question: How do you get out alive?

Safety expert Bill Stanton showed Inside Edition ways you can raise the likelihood of survival if the unthinkable happens, like the situation that unfolded in Annapolis. 

Stanton said you should always know where the closest exits are, and if you hear shots, leave. 

If you can't flee, then hide under your desk or in an office — but don't stop there.

"Let’s throw the chairs behind the door. You want to barricade this as much as humanly possible," he said. "You want to flip this table over. You want to get behind it."

If you have nothing to barricade the door with, Stanton says use a belt. 

“So you take a belt and you tighten it on a hinge. They're not gonna get through because it’s not going to open," he said. 

If the gunman breaks through the door, Stanton says to fight back. Use anything you can get your hands on as a weapon, like a fire extinguisher. 

"This fire extinguisher could make a fog and make it slippery for anybody chasing and then toss it and run to the exit," he said. 

A pair of scissors can also be used to help fight back.

"You need to make that decision to fight for your life and you wanna go for the most vulnerable area possible," he said. "You wanna take this right in the eye. And you want to do it with all your might because your life may literally depend upon it."

Police departments across the country and Homeland Security have also produced videos on how to survive a shooting in the workplace.