One way to ensure your family’s safety in your home is creating a fire escape plan. Emergency preparedness is important to prevent panic and reduce the risk of injury or worse. House fires can happen to anyone and have many different causes. In 2012, there were about 365,000 house fires in the U.S. resulting in over 10,000 injuries and 2,000 deaths.
Here are some tips to help your family be prepared and create a fire safety plan:
Install smoke detectors throughout your home and have a schedule to check the batteries at least twice a year. If at all possible, have ones that are interconnected so if one fire alarm detects smoke, they all go off. Also, consider having smoke detectors that link to your home’s security system and alert the local fire department.
Check that your home address is visible from the street. This guarantees emergency personnel can easily locate your home and begin putting out the fire.
Locate all possible escape routes throughout your home and educate your family on all of the exits. Have escape routes from the second floor as well. Drawing a map helps children learn the exits.
Create an escape plan to guarantee your family knows how to respond when the smoke detectors go off or in the event of a fire. Choose a meeting place that is a safe distance from your home and have every member of your family memorize important local emergency phone numbers.
Practice the plan during the day and, once your family knows it, practice at night too. During family drills, use safety precaution tactics like: crawling to avoid smoke, feeling doors for the possibility of a fire on the other side and the classic stop, drop and roll. It is important to ensure all family members are comfortable with the plan before finalizing it.
Take these steps and rest easy knowing your family is ready to respond in the event of a fire. It can be a fun and educational activity so take the time to create one with your family! Feel free to consider creating alternative emergency plans for events like severe weather, flooding, break-ins and anything else that is possible where you live.