FAMILY FIRE SAFETY PLAN

house fire
A set of procedures for your home is a good thing to have when dealing with an emergency. As a family, discuss various emergencies and develop plans for how the family members are to deal with them. Survival rates increase in homes with emergency plans. A home evacuation plan should contain at least the following;

Procedures for actions taken during an emergency

An evacuation plan showing alternate escape routes

An assembly point.

1. Draw a floor plan of your home. Include the
following:

a. A primary and secondary exit route from each
room. The primary route should be directly to the
outside such as through the window.

b. The location of any fire equipment

c. Mark the area where everyone is to meet once
they are outside of the house.

d. Mark the location of utility shut-off switches and
valves.

2. Physically check the exit routes to be sure that anyone, who will need to use them, can use them. This will clarify the need for things like escape ladders, ramps, security grill release mechanisms for protected doors and windows, and the availability of keys for double key locks.

3. Go over the plan with the entire family.

a. Make sure that everyone understands that they
are not to go back into the house or apartment once
they are out. Go to the meeting area and wait.

b. Discuss how to feel the door if it is closed and
not to open it if it is hot.

c. Talk about the danger of smoke and heat and the
importance of staying low.

d. Discuss what to do in the event that they become
trapped.

e. Be sure that everyone knows what the smoke
detector sounds like.

The first thing to consider when formulating a plan is to have some method of being made aware of the danger. Smoke detectors are simple, automatic devices to provide that notification. You may also consider providing each bedroom with a whistle of some sort as a manual method of notifying the family to get out.

Sleeping with the doors closed provides barriers between those you love and night time fire in your home. The average household door will last approximately three to five minutes with a fully involved room. Closed doors have saved many lives by giving people the time to escape. Sometimes, people with small children or infants think that leaving the door open at night will enable them to hear in case their children cry or call out. In a fire, the open door may allow toxic gases to enter the rooms and render both the parents and the children unconscious before any of them are aware of the problem. Inexpensive devices not only allow monitoring other rooms, but in some cases, communicating with them.

At the sound of the alarm or if you suspect that there is a fire in your home, get out! If you reach a closed
door, feel it before opening. If it is hot, don’t open it. Try to use a direct exit to the outside. If the door is cool to the touch, open it cautiously, keeping the door between you and the opening. Stay low and be prepared to close it quickly if heat or smoke is present. In the event that you must move through smoke, stay low, on hands and knees crawling quickly to the nearest exit. If you must break a window because it won’t open, you can use a heavy object. Use it to punch out all of the glass starting from the top. Scrape the bottom edge of the window to remove fragments that may be sticking up and could injure you. Placing a blanket, pillow or article of clothing on the sill before you climb out provides additional protection.

Evacuation from a two-story home or a second floor apartment can be a little more difficult. Consider is the purchase of an escape ladder. They are all designed to attach quickly to a windowsill (available for three-story buildings).

It is important that every member of the family practice with the ladder. In a two-story building, you must go out the window without a ladder, lower yourself out of the window feet first, facing the building. Hang down from the windowsill at arm’s length, let go, and drop to the ground. In this position in your average residence, an adult’s feet are within six or seven feet off the ground.

 

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