Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan?
Having a fire escape plan for your family in place could quite literally save lives. While you may never be able to predict a fire, you can do everything in your power to be prepared in case of an emergency. Each person should have a fire escape plan that is known and practiced by everyone in the family, especially if you have young children.
While most people know that they probably should have a fire escape plan in place, sadly that is not the reality for most Americans. In fact, according to the American Red Cross:
- Only 26% of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan
- 80% of Americans are not aware that home fires are the single most common disaster in the nation
- In a typical year, 20,000 people are injured in home fires
It is crucial that your family have a fire escape plan to keep everyone safe.
Here is how you can create a fire escape plan to ensure that your family is prepared in case of an emergency:
Creating a Fire Escape Plan
Know the Proper Response
The first step in your fire escape plan is knowing the proper way to react to a fire. In an emergency like this, it is important to act quickly. The only way to act quickly under stress is to know exactly what to do.
When trying to exit the house or building, it is crucial to stay low to the ground to avoid the smoke that is rising into the air. While crawling to the exit, it is important to try and keep your face covered with clothing or any other type of fabric. Once you are out of the house, you should not re-enter under any circumstances.
Map Out the Escape Route
Before any signs of a disaster, you and all of the members of your family should know two ways to get out of each room in the house. To map out your escape route, it can be very helpful to print out the layout of your home, while noting where everyone sleeps, including all of the potential exits on the printed layout. You should draw out primary and secondary exits to your home and make sure that everyone is aware.
Set a Meet Up Point
It is crucial to set up a meeting point for everyone when outside. It is very important to have one designated spot to prevent anyone from running back into the building if they are not sure everyone has exited. Your meeting point should be an adequate distance away from your house, such as at the end of your driveway or across the street.
Practice, Practice, Practice
A fire escape plan has no use if all of your family members do not know how to properly execute it. To be best prepared, your family should rehearse the fire escape plan at least twice a year. As soon as the smoke detector goes off, everyone should know what to do.