Having a fire safety plan is vital for the protection of your home and the people who live there. Here’s an overview of why you’ll need a plan and how to develop yours.
The Importance of a Fire Safety Plan
Experts say that you only have about 120 seconds to evacuate a building when it’s on fire. There’s no time to waste. It’s vital that you know the routes to take and know what to do in case of an emergency. Preparing for this situation can be a matter of life and death, so it’s best to take these safety plans very seriously.
How to Develop a Fire Escape Plan
The National Fire Protection Association offers tips on how to make a home fire escape plan, including:
- Draw a map of your home, showing all doors and windows on a grid
- Tour each room, identify two ways out and note them on your grid
- Make sure doors and windows open easily; keep windows locked for security reasons, but be sure all family members can unlock and open their bedroom windows
- Use monitored smoke alarms
- Pick a meeting place in front of your home
- Be sure house numbers are easily seen from the street
- Talk about your escape routes, so all family members are prepared
- Practice your home fire drill!
Fire Safety Tips
In order to protect your home and loved ones in the event of a fire, you’ll want to consider the following tips:
Conduct Fire Drills
When trying to escape a smoke-filled building, it’s easy to get confused. That’s why conducting fire drills is essential. Practice crawling along the floor, where it’s typically less smoky. Teach your children to test doorknobs before opening a bedroom door. If the doorknob is hot, teach them not to open the door. Make sure everyone knows the evacuation route, any equipment to use, and where to go once they get outside.
Maintain Fire Equipment
Preparing properly for fire also means maintaining your fire safety equipment. Be sure your smoke detector and fire alarms work correctly and test them to make sure the batteries function properly. Making sure you have working alarms should be a top concern. If you have a fire extinguisher, be sure to watch the pressure gauge. A good fire extinguisher can last up to 15 years, but if the pressure gauge is in the red, you’ll need to get a new one. Consider getting a ladder for second-floor bedrooms.
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