If a fire starts in your home, you need to know what to do. Any hesitation can be fatal. By preparing and practicing an escape plan with your family, you have a better chance of surviving a fire.
Making a family escape plan should involve all members of your family. So take the time to gather your family together to make a step by step emergency escape plan. Include children in the planning as well.
- Make a floor plan of your home
- Find two ways out of each room and mark both ways on the floor plan. Discuss the best escape routes with each family member and remember that windows can be used as exits. Be sure all windows you plan to use as exits can be opened.
- Pick a meeting location right outside the house for everyone to meet after they have escaped the house. This way you will know if anyone is missing
- Practice your plan to make sure everyone knows how to get out. Intentionally block one exit in each room so that you can practice using the alternate exit. Get out quickly but carefully. Physically walking through your plan and identifying all escape routes greatly helps everyone understand the best ways to get out safely.
- Remember, get out FIRST, call the Fire Department Second.
- Once you are out, stay out. Do not go back inside for any reason. Only professional firefighters should enter a building that is on fire – even if the residents’ pets or prized possessions are inside.
Things to Think About While Making Your Plan
- Install smoke detectors on every level of your home outside sleeping areas.
- If you live in a two story home, consider purchasing escape ladders for each bedroom.
- Know how to use them and store them near the window. If the stairs are blocked with debris or smoke, the window may be the only means of escape.
- Make certain your house number is visible from the street in both the day and night to make sure the Fire Department can easily find your home.
- If your windows are equipped with security bars, make certain they have quick release devices installed and make sure everyone in the family knows how to use them.
- Test your smoke detectors once a month and replace the batteries twice a year. It is recommended that you change your smoke detector batteries when you change your clocks.