You have gone great lengths to ensure that your home is fully equipped with smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide alarms—but simply having the tools doesn’t keep you safe from a potential fire.
According to nfpa.org fire can spread throughout your home in as little as two minutes, leaving you very little time to exit. We believe that it is just as important to come up with a fire evacuation plan as it is to equip your home with the necessary precautions, because even with proper preventative measures, anything can happen. We’ve come up with a few tips for you to use while coming up with your own family evacuation plan.
Get Low & Go!
Before discussing an escape route, you should educate your children about fire and fire safety. Children playing with fire cause almost 20,000 fires per year. Teaching your children about the importance of being cautious and careful around fire is a big step in preventing fire related accidents. In the event of a fire incident they should know how to respond as well. Using the Get Low & Go method is simple enough to remember and can be a quick response that can save a child from small burns or more serious injuries.
The Escape Route
Once you’ve educated your children about fire safety, it’s time to think about coming up with an evacuation plan that makes sense for you! This plan is not meant to scare your children about a potential fire in your home, but rather to inform them on how to be safe and calm in the event of a fire. You should create your plan in a calm and relaxed environment to help your children think clearly about how they should respond before there really is an emergency. You should also sound a smoke alarm at least once so that your children can be familiar with the sound and know what to do when it goes off.
Creating an evacuation plan is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Draw a floor plan of your home—finding at least 2 ways out of each room including windows and doors
- Walk through your plan and each of the exits, making sure that escape routes are clear and windows are easily opened
- Agree on a meeting place outside of the home—a tree, mailbox, or street sign—that is a safe distance from the house
Just like that you have a plan that is easy to remember and ensures that your family members know what to do in the case of a fire! It’s easy to think that disasters won’t happen to you and your family, but coming up with a plan before an emergency gives you the peace of mind that your family will respond quickly and calmly if anything were to happen.
While it only takes 3 easy steps to come up with a plan, we have created a list of a few more preventative measures you can take in order to ensure that you escape your house quickly and safely.
- Every room should have two ways out (Including windows and doors)
- Upper rooms should have escape ladders that are stored in a place that is easy and quick to get to
- Teach children how to use escape ladders on first floor windows so they can understand how it works and test it out before an actual emergency
- Basements should have egress windows if they are underground
- Street numbers should be visible from the road to ensure that emergency responders can find your home quickly
- Escape routes should be clear and windows should be easy to open
- Smoke alarms should be located on every level of the home, and outside each sleeping area
- Test smoke alarms once a month, replace batteries every year, and replace the entire smoke alarm every ten years
- Practice your evacuation plan twice a year, using different escape routes every time to ensure that you can get out in any room of the house
- Make sure visitors like nannies, or babysitters are aware of your escape plan in the event that a fire should occur while you are away
Let Us Monitor For You
At EPS Security, we take fire alarm monitoring very seriously. While all these tips and tricks may seem like a long list to you, they are critical steps to prepare for the unthinkable. You can gain a watchful eye by adding 24/7 EPS Fire Alarm Monitoring whether you are home or away. When we detect smoke in your home we immediately dispatch your local fire department so you don’t have to. All you have to worry about it sticking to your escape plan, and leave the rest up to us!
For more information about fire safety and preparedness visit nfpa.org. They offer fun games and activities for children to understand the importance of fire safety, and creating an escape plan.