Tuesday, August 23, 2011

10 Essential Elements of a Home Fire Escape Plan

We all know, if we let ourselves think about it, that a fire in our home is possible and can be deadly, but what have we done to prepare for it? Here are 10 elements that are essential, when it comes to getting your family out of your home safely in the event of a home fire.

  1. Smoke Alarms. There should be a smoke alarm in each sleeping area of your home, and one in the area just outside the sleeping rooms, as well as having smoke alarms on each level of the home. There should also be smoke alarms in the stairways between levels, and one in any room that is regularly closed off while being used, such as an office or media room. Smoke alarms should be tested once per month to assure that their batteries are good. Direct-wired alarms are not recommended, as an electrical fire can render them useless.
  2. Floor Plan. Take the time to create a floor plan, map, or grid of your home. Study it together as a family, so that everyone knows escape routes from each room in case a fire separates family members.
  3. Clear Escape Routes. Make sure that all escape routes to windows and doors are free of blockages at all times.
  4. Alternate Route Plans. Your escape plan should include two routes out of each room, in order to assure that no one is trapped if a fire blocks a primary exit.
  5. Outside Meeting Place. Designate a meeting place outside the home, for everyone to gather after escaping the home.
  6. Practice. Assemble your family once per month to practice your escape plan. Keeping the practices short, and assuming the fire starts in a different room for each practice, on a rotating basis from month to month, is a good idea.
  7. Hot Doors. The plan should stress that a hot door should never be opened during a fire event. Hot doors mean fire is on the other side.
  8. Once Out, Stay Out. Once you or a family member has escaped the home, it should never be re-entered. Gather in your outside meeting place, and if anyone is missing, one member can run around the outside of the house, pounding on walls and shouting to get the attention of anyone left inside.
  9. No Elevators. If you live in a multi-story building, never use elevators in order to escape during a fire event. Elevators are a trap if the power is lost.
  10. Sleepovers. If your child asks to stay overnight at a friend’s house, always speak to the parents of the friend, to assure yourself that they also have smoke alarms and an escape plan, before giving answer. Also, the parents should be willing to include your child in an escape practice before the sleepover proceeds. The same, of course, should be done when your child has a friend in your home for an overnight stay.

These 10 essentials make a good guideline in order to assure the safety of your family in others during a home fire event. In creating your plan, you will likely find others that are essential to the peculiarities of your home. Be prepared and be safe.

Taken From Home Alarm Monitoring

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