Fire Escape Plan
Fire safety is very important, but it doesn’t stop at having fire extinguishers and alarms installed throughout the house. You and your family should have a fire escape plan in place should a fire start. Here are some things to include in your fire escape plan.
To start out, draw a map of your home to map out all rooms and possible escape routes. Plan at least two ways to escape from each room. If you live in an apartment building, make sure you know where all exit stairways are on your floor of the building and plan as many escape routes as possible to get to them. Always plan to use the stairs if you live in a high-rise, never the elevator. If you live in a home, you can use a window as an alternate route. Purchase a collapsible ladder to escape from any upper-story windows.
Once you have a plan on how to escape the home, make sure you plan for everyone in the home. If you have infants, older relatives, or family members with limited mobility make sure to assign someone to help them exit the home. Have a backup person as well in case the person assigned isn’t home at the time of the fire. Assign a meetup point away from the home and make sure everyone knows where it is. Make sure everyone knows that once you are out of the home, you should not go back in. If someone is missing, firefighters have the equipment to safely perform any rescues needed.
Check windows to make sure that they open easily. If any stick, make sure to fix them so they can open. Make sure that any security bars on doors and windows have a quick-release latch and that everyone knows how to use them. Additionally, make sure that your home or building number is visible from the street.
When explaining the plan, especially to children, make sure they know not to hide during a fire. Have everyone in the home memorize the emergency number for the fire station, so they can call from a cell phone or neighbor’s phone as soon as they exit the hone.
Make sure to explain and implement prevention plans. Install fire alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area, and on every floor of the home. Fire alarms should be connected, meaning that if one fire alarm goes off, all of them go off. If a fire occurs, closed doors can help to slow the spread of smoke, fire, and heat.
Practicing a fire escape plan is as important as creating one. Practice your plan at least twice a year, and try to make it as realistic as possible. To practice, try getting out of your home with your eyes closed, mouth covered, and crawling low to the floor.