Do You Have a Known & Practiced Fire Escape Plan at Home?
October 4, 2018
Do you and your children know what to do in the event of a house fire? Fire Prevention Week is the week of October 9th and we have a two-part blog series covering fire escape plans at home and at work.
This isn’t new so why is it so important?
While conducting research, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discovered that, due to open floor plans, synthetic furnishings and many other home advancements, a house fire today is more likely to cause death than a house fire in 1980. That data led to this year’s theme, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.TM” because it can be applied to everyone, everywhere.
- Look for places fire can start.
- Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
- Learn two ways out of each room.
We’ve gotten better at fire prevention over time (perhaps the cause of our complacency with planning?) but it’s clear that there’s work to do on the protocol once your home is struck by fire and the fire alarms and smoke detectors are sounding. Please not only familiarize yourself with our fire escape safety tips for your home but familiarize your children and other family members and then practice them regularly!
House Fire Safety Planning Tips
- Draw up a plan and review it with everyone in your home. This written plan should include your home’s floor plan and all doors and windows.
- Test doors and windows for ease of use and make corrections where necessary.
- Each room should have at least two ways out.
- Practice, practice, practice! At least twice per year, enact your plans at night as well as during the day. PRO TIP: This tip is easy to remember if you do it at the same time you’re changing your smoke and carbon monoxide detector* batteries.
- For the small periods of time that your children are home alone after school (or in the event you are unable to help them for any reason), teach your children how to escape a burning home on their own.
- Establish a meeting place to use once out of the home – a tree, detached garage, street light, trusted neighbor’s house, etc.
- Don’t forget to include house guests in your home fire escape plan.
When Your Fire Alarm Goes Off, Get Out
If your fire alarm sounds, you have less time to escape than you might think…
- Remember to stay calm and visualize your plan; you have practiced this.
- Get out of the house and stay out – do NOT attempt to go back in to retrieve people, pets or things.
- Remember to stay low and go under the smoke if possible; test knobs for heat before opening any interior doors.
- Close doors behind you as you leave in an attempt to slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
- If your fire alarm is not monitored, don’t forget to call the fire department once safely outside and in your family’s established meeting place. PRO TIP: A 24/7 monitored fire alarm saves you this step and can also mean the difference between seconds or minutes, life or death. Learn more here.
It’s easy to think that a fire won’t happen in your home but we prefer to err on the side of caution. In addition to being potentially life-saving, practicing your family’s fire escape plans can be good team building and family bonding time. Please contact us or visit www.nfpa.org for more information.