Your Fire Evacuation Plan
If you are faced with the tragedy of a home fire, the most important thing you can have is a family evacuation plan. According to the USFA, 3,500 people in the Unites States die in fires each year and 18,300 are injured. A family evacuation plan could literally save lives – the lives most precious to you.
Fires can move rapidly though out a home. Then can come at any time of day. Because of this, preparation is vital when it comes to getting you and your family out of your home safely.
How to Prepare for a Fire
Smoke alarms should be installed on every floor of the house and outside every bedroom. They need to be checked for low batteries monthly.
Invest in a fire extinguisher. Make sure all age-appropriate family members know where it is and how to use it.
Create a map of your home. This will be helpful to firefighters when they get there. The map should include all exits to your home, names of rooms and shut off points for gas, water and electricity.
Create a grab and go kit. This should include things such as a map, handkerchiefs, insurance policies and anything else that you may need quickly. You should not spend time searching your house for these things during a fire.
Your Family Fire Evacuation Plan
If you need to evacuate your house due to fire, every moment counts. You need to get out immediately. The easiest way to accomplish this is having a family evacuation plan in place.
- ● Keep important personal items such as flashlight, robe and shoes by your bed.
- ● Decide what the quickest exits are out of each room.
- ● Have an emergency contact number and make sure each family member memorizes it.
- ● Keep your grab and go kit handy and updated.
- ● Decide on a safe meeting point for your family (the mailbox, a certain tree, etc.)
- ● Keep emergency escape ladders in all upper floor rooms.
Once you have your emergency plan in place, practice it at least twice a year. Children should be involved too. Practice stop drop and roll techniques, keeping low to the floor to avoid smoke, feeling doors for heat and closing doors behind you to stop fire from spreading.
Once you meet at your safe place, call 911 and do not go back into the house for any reason.
While all of these tips are useful, it is most important that you and your family make it out of your home as safe and quickly as possible. If for any reason you should skip a step during an actual fire (such as grabbing your emergency kit or putting on shoes), do not fret. You should ultimately do what is safest and most logical at the time.
Fires are devastating but with careful planning and practice your family can work to be the safest in the situation.