Making a plan in case of a fire could mean the difference between getting all of your family members out of the house safely and failing to do so. Obviously we would all do anything in our power to make sure that our families are safe. Making a plan in case of a fire involves taking into consideration a number of things including the layout of your home, the accessibility to an exist that each individual will have and the abilities of individual family members to get out of the house unassisted.
It is important to involve your children in the making of a plan in case of a fire. You need your children to have involvement not only to keep them interested but also to assist them in remembering the plans that you will make together. Below are some guidelines for things that you should consider as you make a plan in case of a fire. If you come across other safety needs that are unique to your family be sure to include those in your plan as well.
Things to include in your fire escape plan:
•Prepare a floor plan of your home showing at least two ways out of each room (these exits will usually include the bedroom door and a window).
•Sleep with your bedroom door closed. In the event of fire, it helps to hold back heat and smoke.
•In the event of a fire, check the door by feeling towards the top of the door with the back of your hand. If the door feels hot, do not open it. Instead test and escape through another door or window.
•Check corridors and stairways to make sure they are free of obstructions and combustibles. Also, check all windows to make sure that they are well lubricated and are not difficult to open when unlocked. Make sure that whoever sleeps in rooms with windows can open those windows by themselves.
•If you have bedrooms on the upper level of your house you will need to purchase escape ladders. Easy-to-use window escape ladders are available through many catalogues and outlet stores for around $100.
•As you make your fire escape plan, agree on a fixed location out-of-doors where family members are to gather for a head count. Make sure that you stay together and away from the fire. Send one family member to call 911 from another location such as a neighbor’s house.
•No one should ever go back inside the burning building. Objects can be replaced but you cannot put a price on your health or your life.
•Have regular fire drills where you put your plan in case of a fire into action. These drills should be held at least twice a year. Through having these drills you will be able to see where there are flaws in your plan or which family members may need additional assistance getting out. Have a “de-briefing” period after your drill and ask each family member what they think can be done differently to make the fire escape plan run more smoothly.
Making a plan in case of a fire is smart and every family should have one, however it is also best that you do all that is possible to ensure that you never need to actually use your fire escape plan. Practicing rules of fire safety at home should be part of the education that you provide for your kids. Teach them about electrical safety and safety when in the kitchen cooking. Make sure that you have a fire extinguisher in the house and that every member of the family knows how and when to use it.