Your odds of being able to escape a fire depend on two important things: having a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, as well as having a fire escape plan in place. The fire escape plan will ensure that all family members know what to do in the event of a fire, which will enable you and your family to get out of your home swiftly.
- Figure Out Your Escape Routes (2 Ways Out Of Each Room)
Walk through your home and discuss two ways out of each room, including from both windows and doors. Include children in this process. If you have children, consider drawing a floorplan of each room and highlighting the exit points of these rooms a second time.
Keep in mind that if your home has two floors, every person in the home needs to be able to escape from every room on the second floor. This means placing escape ladders near the windows, if you don’t already have them. When you do your walk-through, also ensure that all windows and doors can be opened easily and that the paths to these exit points are clear.
- Choose A Meeting Place
Choose a meeting place outside of your home, a place that is far enough to be at a safe distance from a potential fire. This is also a good idea to observe whether or not your house number is clearly visible from the road so that emergency personnel can find your house in the event of a fire or other emergency.
- Practise Your Fire Escape Plan
You should practise your plan twice a year and try to make it as realistic as possible. If you have children, you should try to practise this at night while they are sleeping, but be sure to inform them of the drill so that they are not alarmed when it happens.
- Everyone should be low to the ground to avoid smoke. Remember to practise how to seal yourself in the room in the event that smoke prevents you from exiting the building. This means closing the door and putting towels or duct tape under it and covering the air vents. If possible, open windows. If the door is hot, do not attempt to go through it. Find another way out of the room.
- Keep in mind that you will also want to practise setting up the ladders quickly from the first floor windows. Children should also practise, but only with an adult and only from the first floor.
- Practise unlocking doors and windows in the dark.
- Pretend that one route is blocked and that you have to get out of the other exit.
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