A good fire escape plan is easy to create and essential for practicing fire safety with your family. The plan you create should be specifically tailored for the layout of your home, and carefully explained to any children so they know exactly what to do in the event of a fire emergency.
Creating a Plan
Use a floor plan of your home when you are creating a fire escape route so you can see all of the possible doors and windows that can be used as an exit. Be sure to mark any windows that have security bars or emergency latches and make sure your family knows how they can be properly detached. If you have bedrooms on an upper floor, makes sure that portable fire escape ladders have been stored next to a window in each room.
Use different color markers to draw on the floor plan and demonstrate the two fastest ways to escape every room of the house, especially the bedrooms. If any member of your family has mobility issues, assign someone to help them out of the house. A safe meeting place outside of the house should be established to reconvene following an emergency and make sure everyone made it outside safely.
Once a fire escape plan has been established, run through it with your family so they know exactly what to do. Practice makes perfect, so it is recommended that families practice their fire escape plan at least twice a year. Practice using your fire escape ladders using a ground floor window to minimize the risk of falling and getting injured.
Talking To Kids About Fire Safety
Talking to kids about fire safety in the home is essential to making sure they are prepared in the event that they need to evacuate. Make sure they have memorized their escape routes and know where the designated meeting place is located.
If your home has locks or bolts on the windows, children should be taught how to unlock them. While any babysitters or other caregivers should be aware of the fire escape plan for your home, a child should know the fire escape plan well enough to act on their own.
Children should also know that they should never, under any circumstances, go back into a house that is on fire. They should instead immediately find an adult or firefighter and let them handle it instead.
Talking to Seniors About Fire Safety
If senior citizens are living in your home, make sure their fire escape plan incorporates any restrictions on movement they may have. If you live in a multi-story house, it is recommended that seniors have their room on the first floor so they can quickly get out of the house without having to deal with any stairs. They should also be made aware of any windows or doors that may be locked, heavy or difficult for them to open.
If a senior is confined to a wheelchair or bed, make sure a family member is assigned to help them move if they need to escape. Make sure to incorporate any type of oxygen tanks into account for an escape plan as well, as they can be extremely flammable.