We all make plans when they are needed. We plan the details of a busy day; we plan the activities on a family vacation, or even what we would do for our Saturday night. But very few of us have planned what they would do in case of a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, only a quarter of household’s come with a fire safety plan.
We understand that a fire is the last thing a person wants to think about happening to their homes. But, it only takes a few seconds for a fire to start and you and your family will only have minutes to decide what they’re going to do to escape it. And your chances of making it to safety increase significantly if you have a plan in place. Here we have included a couple of tips to help you create effective fire safety plans.
Know Where the Exits Are
Knowing all the ways you can get out of your house or anywhere you may be staying for the night, besides the conventional ways, could make all the difference in your escape. If you live in a two-story house and the fire starts downstairs. Then reaching your front door to get out may not be feasible. In that case, you would also want to find windows that can easily be gotten to the ground through, or that leads to the area where you can lower yourself to ground. Or you may even want to consider purchasing fire escape ladders for your upstairs bedrooms if the windows are too high.
Set Ground Rules and Stick to Them
Knowing where the exits are is one thing, but actually getting to them, in reality, can be another story entirely. That’s why you want to give your family some general pointers and tips they can use in if the situation calls for it. Here are a few examples:
- Get to your Exit as quickly as possible
- Check Doors for heat: If hot find another way out
- Stay low and try not to breathe in any of the smoke
- If you find something you’re wearing is on fire, STOP, DROP, and Roll.
- Call the fire department once you’re outside
- Once you’re out, don’t go back inside!
These are just some general ground rules you can set for you and your family in case of a fire. But there may be some more specific rules you’d want to include for your family.
Know the Number to Your Fire Department
Everyone knows 911 will get them to the emergency services for their region, but less than 7% of people in the US know the actual number of their fire department. And calling them directly during a fire emergency will cut back on the time it takes for them to get to you.
Create an Escape Route and Meeting Place
One thing you should create and go over with your family is your escape plan. This can be a quick outline of the routes each member of the family plans to take if they’re in their rooms when a fire breaks out or this can be a map of all the closest and safest routes out of each room and to the outside. You’re going to want to talk with the whole family and make sure they not only know which exit to take to get out but also where everyone should meet up once their all out.
Know What to do Should Someone Finds Themselves Unable to get out
Fire can be unpredictable, so there may be a time when even though you’ve planned all the routes, obstacles may appear during the actual fire that prevents someone from getting out safely. In that case, there are a couple things you want to do to try to keep safe until someone arrives:
- Secure your room: you can do this by placing wet towels or blankets under the door.
- Secure yourself: If possible, move to the bathroom fill the tub with water.
- Wait for help to arrive
Do Practice Runs
You and your family will want to do practice runs so that each of you is familiar with the escape plan that is in place. This will make you ultimately be less likely to panic if the real thing actually does come to pass.
No one wants to think of the worst-case scenario, but the worst can happen, that’s why it’s best to be prepared should it happen, rather than ill-prepared when the situation rises. And having a fire safety plan in place prepares you for when you and your family needs it most. Waiting for when it happens is much too late. And having a plan puts your safety back under your control.