Most disasters can be avoided, or at least minimized, by planning ahead. In the panic-ridden moments of a house fire, you don’t have time to gather your family together and work out an escape plan. By then, it’s too late.
But by planning out and practicing a family fire escape plan now, you will all know what to do in the event of a fire!
What to Consider for Your Escape Plan
For a successful escape plan, there are some things you need to take into consideration, including:
- Every exit from every room – You should have a minimum of two escape routes from each room, in case one is blocked.
- Locked doors and windows – while window bars and heavy-duty locks are great for protecting your home from intruders, they can mar your escape during a house fire. Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to quickly unlock all safety features on doors and windows so they can make a quick escape.
- Safety precautions – Teach your kids fire escape safety practices like touching closed doors/handles with the back of their hand before opening it, not hiding from fire fighters, and crawling low beneath the smoke.
- Meeting place – Every family should also have a designated meeting place outside the home. It could be a tree, a neighbor’s front porch, or anywhere you can safely gather and do a roll-call.
- Fire escape ladders – If you choose to install collapsible ladders, make sure you purchase those that are tested and approved by recognized authorities.
- Once out, stay out – Finally, make sure every family member realizes how important it is to leave the home immediately, and don’t go back for any reason. If someone or something needs to be rescued, leave it to the professionals.
Plan and Practice
Too many Americans die each year because they don’t plan ahead or practice escaping from their home. Be sure to keep your family safe by making and practicing your family’s fire escape plan regularly!