Plan Your Escape!
Have you practiced your fire escape plan lately? If a fire breaks out in your home, you may have only a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire. It’s too late to start developing a home fire escape plan when fire strikes. Everyone in the home needs to be prepared in advance so that they can snap into action when the smoke alarm sounds. Smoke alarms provide the minutes needed to escape a fire safely. Home fire escape planning and practice ensure that everyone knows how to use that time effectively.
Make sure that you practice your home fire escape drill at least twice a year. Everyone in your home needs to know how to get low and go under smoke, in case they need to escape through smoke. If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside of the home and stay outside, and then alert the fire department to any people or pets that may still be trapped inside.
According to a National Fire Protection Association survey, only one of every three American households (32%) have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. One-third thought they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. In reality, the time available is often less. Only 8% of U.S. households said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out.
Action Steps You Can Take:
ESCAPE PLAN CHECKLIST
- I have made a map of our home indicating all windows and doors that can be used to get outside if the smoke alarm sounds.
- All members of my household have walked through the home with me to identify two ways out of each room.
- The home fire escape plan includes two ways out of every room in the home (usually a door and a window).
- All ways out of each room and the home are clear, free of clutter, and can be opened easily.
- Security bars on doors and windows have a quick-release device so they can be used to get outside in case of a fire.
- There is a meeting place (a tree, neighbor’s home, street light) outside in front of our home where everyone knows to meet upon exiting.
- Our house number can be clearly seen from the street.
- Our plan includes the local emergency telephone number (or 9-1-1) to be contacted immediately upon leaving the home.
- There are working smoke alarms in all required locations throughout our home; there’s at least one on every level of the home (including the basement), inside all bedrooms, and outside each sleeping area.
- We all know what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when we hear it.
*Source National Fire Protection Association
You can download and print this Home Evacuation Plan flyer.