When was the last time you discussed what to do if a fire broke out in your house with your family? Even if you have smoke alarms, it is critical that you have an escape plan in place and that you discuss and rehearse it with your family, especially your children.
Once a smoke alarm rings, everyone has as little as two minutes to safely escape the building in the case of a fire. If you haven’t created and prepared a strategy, you’re leaving everyone’s safety to chance and hope that, despite the shock of fire, everyone will be able to think and act properly and swiftly.
Hire professional Fire Watch Guards and don’t take chances with your family’s safety. This year, take advantage of Fire Prevention Week to develop and practice new ideas to safeguard your family from the danger of a fire, create a house fire escape plan.
Steps to Creating a Fire Escape Plan that Works
You should establish a detailed and unambiguous fire escape plan, especially if you have children. To make one for your family now, follow these simple steps:
- Take a walk around your house to find all available exits, including windows.
- Mark every exit, escape route, smoke alarm, and meeting spot on a floor plan of your home, including the exterior yard. Place the plan somewhere in your home.
- Every room should have at least two exits (including windows).
- Take the time to eliminate any impediments from exits and escape routes as you walk through and create your strategy. Also, make sure all doors and windows open freely.
- Choose a meeting spot outdoors that is a safe distance from the home yet visible (a mailbox, a neighbor’s home, a lamppost, etc.).
- Assign who will assist newborns, the elderly, or those with disabilities in an emergency and during fire drills if they require assistance.
Making a plan should be simple and quick, but it is only one aspect of establishing a successful escape plan that assures everyone’s safety. There are a few things you must accomplish before attempting your strategy.
Things to Consider Before Implementing Your Fire Escape Plan
If other things aren’t in order and certain concepts aren’t grasped, having a plan can only get you so far. Before your escape strategy can work, there are a few things you need to check and teach:
- Check that all of your smoke alarms are functional and that they are in the proper locations – one in each bedroom, one outside each sleeping space, and one on each level.
- Make sure the numbers on your house are visible from the street.
- Teach family members the emergency number for first responders, which in the United States is 911.
- Make sure that everyone in the household knows how to open and close any windows and doors.
- Teach your family to recognize and utilize the safest escape route in the event of a fire –– the shortest route, with the least amount of heat and smoke
- Instruct everyone that after they’ve gotten out of the house, they should go immediately to the agreed-upon meeting spot and ask for aid.