Does your family have a fire escape plan?
Feb 15, 2014 10:00AM
By Katie Anderson
Knowing how to prevent household fires, along with what to do when a fire occurs, will be beneficial to your family when every minute matters.
Start with preventionThe National Fire Prevention Association suggests your family start with the basics by:
- Checking your household smoke detectors monthly;
- Replacing batteries in smoke detectors annually;
- Ensuring that your house or building number is visible from the street;
- Memorizing the emergency phone number to the fire department;
- Ensuring all exits are properly working and free of obstructions, specifically windows;
- Designing a home fire escape plan.
Have a basic planBoys Town Pediatrics knows that developing a plan is important for those times when seconds are critical. Making a family fire escape plan can be a great opportunity to remind children about the importance of safety. Designing a fire escape plan can be easy with the following steps:
- Make a map of your house’s layout, showing all windows and doors.
- On the plan, make note of two exits out of every room, including the quickest exit outside.
- Pick a meeting spot outside the house where the family will gather after an emergency happens.
- Go over the basics in fire safety such as staying low to keep out of the smoke, never opening doors that are hot to the touch, and how to find the most immediate and safest route out.
Test the planThe best way to ensure your plan will work is to hold a fire drill. Inform the family that there will be a fire drill within the next week. Waking your child in the middle of the night may be alarming, but we advise planning a drill in both the evening when it is dark as well as during the day.
After the mock drill, tweak your plan as needed. Remember to revisit the family fire escape plan every six months or after a child has changed rooms.
For more information on fire prevention and safety, visit the U.S. Fire Administration website at www.usfa.fema.gov.