Ask anyone who has had a home fire and they’ll tell you it’s fast. Faster than they ever imagined. Home fires burn hot and spread quickly. The heat and smoke can make a fire deadly in less than two minutes. Every second counts to escape.
Planning can help save lives in unwanted fires. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) wants everyone to know, “Every second counts… Plan 2 Ways Out!” It is a great time to make sure your family knows and can practice your escape plan.
Talk about what each person would do if you had a fire. Make a plan around everyone’s abilities. As children grow, their abilities increase. As adults age, it may take longer to get outside. Make sure your plan is right for your family.
Escape Plan Essentials:
- Talk about your fire escape plan with your family.
- Together, draw a map of your home, including all doors and windows.
- Find two ways out of each room. Mark these on your map.
- Make sure windows and doors open easily from the inside and are not blocked.
- Choose a place in front of your home where firefighters can see you. Everyone will meet at this place after they escape.
- Practice your fire drill with everyone in your home. Go to your meeting place. Only dial 9-1-1 in a real emergency.
- Practice your drill at least twice a year.
Access the escape plan essentials infographic on the USFA website: www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/2017fpw_infographic.pdf
Make sure everyone can unlock doors and open windows. If you have security bars you need quick-release devices inside. Practice using all escape routes in your home. Practice unexpected situations, like having to escape through a room with smoke: crawl low, under the smoke, to your exits. Practice going to your meeting place. Everyone should know how to dial 9-1-1 to report a fire. Don’t dial 9-1-1 when you’re practicing.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week and home fire escape planning, please visit: www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/fpw.html. Follow USFA on Twitter at @USfire and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfire.