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Creating A Fire Escape Plan For Your Family

Posted on December 12, 2012

Chances are you will never need to use your fire escape plan, but it is important to have one for your family, especially if you have children. Creating a fire escape plan for your family and smoke alarms gives you the ability to get out in the case of a fire. I found some great advice on the National Fire Safety Association website…

Get your whole family together and draw a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including widows and doors. Also mark the location of smoke detectors.

Be sure there are smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home. It’s a good idea to interconnect your alarms so that when one alarm sounds they all do.

It’s important for everyone in the household to understand the escape plan. As a family, walk through your plan, making sure the escape routes are clear of clutter and the doors and windows open easily.

Plan a place to meet outside safely away from your home. Be sure to mark this location on your escape plan.

Make sure children understand the emergency number, 911. This way any member of the family can call for help, from a cell phone or a neighbors home.

For family members who may need help getting out, such as small children, older adults or family members who are handicapped, assign someone to help each of them, assign a back up person too, in case the first person isn’t home.

If windows or doors have security bars, be sure they have emergency release devices inside so they can be opened easily, even by a young child.

If someone is missing be sure to tell the fire fighters, they are prepared for rescues.

After you have created your plan and practiced it, test your plan with a fire drill. Be sure to tell children that you will be having a fire drill, that way they won’t be scared.

During the drill you will find out if there is anyone who doesn’t wake up to the alarm. In this case be sure to assign someone to wake them up as part of the drill.

It is also imperative that people on the second floor are able to escape through the windows, you will need a safety ladder kept close to the window and be sure to practice with it during your practice and your drill.

During a fire there will be smoke, so have everyone practice getting low as they escape. Also close windows on the way out, if you can, to stop the spread of the fire.

Be sure to read the entire article from the National Fire Safely Association: http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=406&itemID=17735&URL=Research%20&%20Reports/Fact%20sheets/Escape%20planning/Basic%20fire%20escape%20planning&cookie_test=1

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