Fire Prevention Month may be coming to a close, but fire safety is a year-round concern. Taking the month of October to focus on things you could be doing better, or should be paying attention to is a great way to be proactive about protecting your home and family from the dangers associated with fire.
If your home was to catch on fire, it is vital that all members of your family know how to safely evacuate, small children included. The most effective way to ensure your family knows what to do if tragedy strikes is by creating, and periodically running through a fire escape plan.
A successful fire escape plan is not one-size-fits-all. It takes into account the structure of your home or property, the ages and physical abilities of occupants, as well as setting a meetup location where all parties are to gather in the event you are split up.
Are you ready to create your fire escape plan? Great! Here are a few things to consider:
Know Who to Call:
Make sure small children are familiar with 911 and know how to dial the number. With some homes no longer having house phones, consider creating a central location where a cell phone will always be in the event of an emergency.
Make Escape Necessities Easy to Find:
If your home has two stories or burglar bars,
there will be additional challenges in exiting. Purchase window ladders and make sure all keys to unlock burglar bars are in the vicinity of the exit, keeping in mind the height of the property’s occupants.
Be Knowledgeable of Exits:
It is good practice to always locate the nearest exit in a room. Explain to small children that windows can also be used as an exit.
Create a Grid of Your Home:
Create a layout of your home and outline ideal exits from each room. Talk through what an exit would look like, along with how to get infants and disabled persons out. Make it a point to identify any tools that are necessary for escaping, and how to use them.
Practice Your Exit Plan:
Practice almost makes perfect. Several times a year, run surprise drills to ensure occupants know how to exit the home safely and efficiently.
Assign a Gathering Location:
Stress the importance of occupants using the safest manner to escape; highlighting this may mean they have to get out of the house by themselves. Designate a safe spot away from the home where all occupants are to gather once they are out safely.
These are just a few items to consider in building your personal fire escape plan. Please visit the NFPA website for more information and free printable resources.
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