An Effective Escape Plan
In accordance with the USFA (U.S. Fire Administration) thousands of deaths and injuries were caused by house fires. It is a good idea to come up with an escape plan just in case a fire breaks out in your home. This way everyone will know what to do in case a fire breaks loose in your home. You and your family should discuss and design and easy to remember plan that is informative, efficient, and speedy. Remember, fires spread quickly so you and your family should also plan to move just as quick.
Some of the topics that should be brought up when discussing a fire escape should include what every individual responsibilities will be assigned to each family member, what the two most safe escape routes are in your home (every room), as well as where to meet up once everyone is outside and safe from the fire. It would be wise to let every family member know that there will be no time to save anything, also that if possible, try to alert others by screaming loudly “Fire!” or something to let everyone know there is an emergency. Once everyone has been alerted individuals should crawl quickly to a safe exit.
Remember if you live in an apartment or some other type of residential building that houses more than one family there are alternate ways to escape. It would be a good thing to get to know where the fire exits in the building are located, to ensure everyone in the building is safe during a fire. The owner of the building or property manager should let tenants know where these escapes are located upon move in. Knowing these types of things will assist you in coming up with an effective escape plan with your family. Escape plans are not something that can be told once and it is “down packed” immediately. You and your family should practice the escape plan at least once a month to ensure that everyone is refreshed on what to do in case of a fire.
Also include in the escape plan a way to alert the local fire department once outside the burning home. Most of the time a neighbor will contact the fire department; but it is always good to have a backup plan to cover all tracks. You should include a couple of close by neighbors in the plan so they will know that if a fire breaks out they will be one of your safety resources. Keep in mind though, you should first make sure everyone escapes safely, then alert the fire brigade, do not try to stop and make a phone call during a fire because every second counts, time will be your biggest enemy during fires so it is not wise to use time unnecessarily.
One way to make an informative and easy accessible plan is to draw out a floor design. Include all rooms, doors, as well as windows in your home. Mark all escape routes and smoke alarms in the residence with vibrant colors to make certain that the family knows how, and where to escape if the fire does break out. Keep in mind that a fire may break out when just the kids are home, so it is good to discuss what they should do in case this happens. Leave telephone numbers for emergency contacts, give them detailed but understandable directions on exactly what to do, also make sure if you know that only the children will be home that there is always someone you trust there to keep a check on them just in case there is an emergency. Educating and preparing you and your family on fire safety or any other type of safety during an emergency, will lower your chances of any deaths or injuries during that fire. It may also help reduce the amount of fires that occur in your home.