Fire safety is something that every homeowner needs to focus on. In the event of a house fire, you want to be 100% certain that your family is alerted to the danger, and ready to respond in a safe, but effective manner. How can you ensure your family is ready to face a fire and get out safely?
According to the American Red Cross, only 26% of families have developed a plan that will help everyone get out of the house safely. Most people believe they have plenty of time to get out of the house in the event of a fire. The reality is, however, you may have as little as two minutes.
It’s critical to have a home fire escape plan that works for everyone. But what are the best ways to create an escape route? We’ll walk you through the steps needed to create a fire escape plan that will help keep you and your family safe.
Involve the Kids in the Household as Much as Possible!
Planning ahead for a house fire is the first step in keeping everyone safe and sound if a fire strikes. This may seem a little scary, hopefully not be necessary in the duration of your home ownership.
The thought of a fire can be a scary thing for all ages, but especially so for young children. It’s important to first speak to your children about what they may experience during a fire and how they can help you to make sure they’re safe.
Have children help install smoke alarms in every room of the home. Allow them to assist with checking the batteries every six months. Be sure to test the alarms around the kids. Doing so provides them the opportunity to hear how loud the alarms will sound during a fire. This can help them maintain a little bit of calm during an emergency, and will let them know what to expect when the alarms go off!
Some families find it easier to draw out a map of their home, and highlight all the possible escape routes available. This includes marking two ways to escape from each room, including windows.
Escape Planning Tips and Tricks
There are several ways to create a fire escape plan. There is no right or wrong method – as long as it works for your family and has the important information included!
- To start the planning stages of your fire escape plan, begin by doing a walk through of your home. All rooms should be inspected and two exits should be identified in each. This can include windows, doors, or even fire ladders if necessary.
- Create a physical drawing of your home. This can be extremely helpful when there are children involved. There are several websites that offer child friendly printable escape plan pages that will help kids stay educated and learn more about the fire escape plan that your family puts in place.
- Make sure that all methods of escape are easily accessible to every family member. This means that windows can be easily opened. If there are safety bars on any escape method, each should have an emergency release that will open immediately in case of emergency.
- Escape ladders are a great way to add extra precautions to upper floors. Many different fire escape ladders exist, and research is important when deciding which ladder is best for your needs. Factors to consider when purchasing a fire escape ladder are the strength of the person that will utilize the ladder (a child can’t be expected to operate a ladder that is twice their weight!), the length, and ease of which the ladder is set up.
- Assign family members to each other. Use a version of the buddy system. Ensure that children understand the priority is to get themselves to safety before anything else. If there are infants or elderly family members in the home that need assistance, assign an adult to each person.
- Create a meeting spot once all family members reach the outside. Make this location far enough away from the home that no one is in danger. Everyone should also be out of the way of emergency services.
Put your Plan to the Test!
Once you have created an escape plan, it’s time to test it. Practice the fire escape route by making the drill as realistic as possible. If possible, family members should not be aware that the drill is going to happen. This will help you see where the flaws are in the escape plan how members act under pressure.
It is important to ensure that children have the escape plan memorized. Accomplish this by going through practice drills during the day and practicing while they are asleep. The point is to practice the drill and not frighten!
If your plan is not effective, or that family members seem unsure of the overall plan, make corrections! It is never too late to make changes to your escape plan – just ensure that all changes are noted and ready to be put into practice!
Fire Damage Restoration Services
With these steps, you can create a family friendly fire escape plan quickly and effectively. At McMahon Services, we know that the safety and security of your family is the biggest priority during a fire emergency.
Our team is here to help you through the restoration process as quickly as possible, getting you back into your home and back to normal life. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you through a fire emergency, and are ready for your call when you need us the most.