How To Make and Practice Your Home Fire Escape Plan
If a fire ever breaks out in your Bountiful, UT, home, you do not have as much time to flee as you think you do. The National Fire Protection Association recently found that one-third of American households thought a fire does not become life-threatening until six minutes after it starts. However, a fire can quickly spread to dangerous levels in even less time. That is why creating a fire escape plan is so important.
Unfortunately, only about one-third of American households have actually made and practiced an escape strategy. If you are one of the homeowners who has not properly prepared your family for a fire, follow the below steps.
How To Create a Fire Preparation Plan
1. Discuss All Possible Entrances and Exits
Start by bringing everyone in your family together. Then go throughout the house and note two escape routes out of each room. Make sure that each window and door can be easily accessed and opened.
2. Choose a Meeting Place
Next, pick a meeting place where everyone can gather after escaping the fire. The location you choose should be a safe distance away from the home.
3. Memorize Important Numbers
Once the plan is in place, have everyone in your home memorize the phone number for your local fire department. This way, anyone can call for help from a cell or a neighbor's landline. You may want to store and remember the contact information for your local fire restoration company, as well.
4. Check and Install Smoke Alarms
While you are discussing your fire escape plan, you should also check to see that your smoke detectors are functioning properly. Put a smoke alarm on each level of the home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping location. Look for detectors that are interconnected. If one of those alarms goes off, the other ones in the home will beep, as well.
How To Practice Your Escape Plan
Just creating a fire preparation plan is not sufficient. You also need to practice the strategy at least twice per year. This way, you can discover and fix any weaknesses in the plan.
Your children need to understand how to respond if the smoke alarm goes off while they are sleeping. You should thus regularly hold these home fire drills at night. You do not want to frighten the kids, however. You can thus warn them ahead of time that the drill will occur.
Another benefit of practicing the escape plan at night is it allows you to see which members of your family sleep through the smoke alarm. If anyone in your household stays asleep throughout the drill, give someone in your home the job of waking up the sleeping person during a real fire.
In some situations, the smoke or fire may be too intense for you to escape. Plan for this scenario, as well. Each person should practice sealing himself in a room and covering door cracks with towels or tape.
It is easy to panic if you see flames or smoke in your house. Yet if you make and practice a fire escape plan ahead of time, you and your loved ones will know what to do during this emergency.