Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or have never thought of making an escape plan before, having a home fire escape plan is crucial for everyone. Many people tend to focus on smoke alarm installation and maintenance, but none of this focus has been driven to make sure that an emergency home fire escape plan has been created.
Most households across the country have smoke detectors, but very few have a fire escape plan. At first, you may doubt the benefits of spending time to create an escape plan. Later on, you may find yourself thankful that you did.
Here is a detailed guide on how to make a home fire escape plan:
Tip #1: Create a detailed map of your home
You must familiarize yourself with every detail of your home before creating a fire escape plan. Create a detailed map of your home, identifying all possible exit points in every room. Ensure which rooms may be at higher risk of a fire, whether because of highly flammable objects or open flames (i.e., the kitchen or the garage).
Tip #2: Practice your escape plan twice a year
Make sure to go over the map you created with all household members. Spend ample time practicing crucial skills like staying low to avoid smoke and testing closed doors for heat. This plan must be practiced at least twice a year, so everyone knows what to do in an emergency.
Tip #3: Arrange a meeting spot
Discuss and determine a meeting spot that is a reasonable distance away from home. This is the destination where everyone can meet if a fire does occur. A meeting spot is always beneficial, so there is no more panic than there already is by looking for a lost family member.
Tip #4: Install smoke alarms and test them regularly
Installing smoke alarms can alert the whole household if smoke is present. This is a great tool to use to your advantage, and it can save your life. Ensure there is at least one on every floor in your home, and make sure to keep it up-to-date by testing it twice per year and changing its batteries.
Tip #5: Have fire extinguishers on hand
A fire extinguisher is used to put out small fires. It is most often kept for large buildings (i.e., apartments and schools), but it is still handy to keep in the home. It can save your life, but it can also help preserve whatever is left of the items caught on fire. They must be kept in high-risk rooms such as the kitchen for easy access. Ensure that everyone in the household knows how to use them in an emergency.
Tip #6: Teach your kids fire safety
Beginning fire safety lessons at a young age can make for a life full of wise decisions. Start teaching your children about the dangers and cautions of fire early! Begin by educating them on proper cooking techniques, putting out small grease fires, and not leaving candles unattended. This educates them on useful life lessons for the future and teaches them basic fire safety concepts.
Tip #7: Buy a fire ladder
Fire ladders are used as an emergency staircase to escape from dangerous areas. Various forms may come in (i.e., rope or metal), but the most popularly purchased are made from metal. It is essential to own a fire ladder, especially if you own a two-story home. They may prove helpful when you need an escape route during a fire. They should be kept in easily accessible areas in the home to be reached quickly in an emergency.
Tip #8: Keep matches and lighters out of reach
Matches and lighters are just some examples of highly flammable household items. More than 20,000 fires occur every year due to children playing with fire. This is why it is imperative to keep highly flammable items entirely out of reach from children.
Tip #9: Butt out
Smoking inside the home is hazardous, as improperly discarded cigarettes can burn household items and furniture. It is encouraged that if you must smoke, you do it outside of your home to avoid starting a fire.
Tip #10: Inspect your wiring
Keeping your household wiring maintained is highly encouraged, even if you doubt the need for it. Especially if your home is old, it is ideal for getting your wiring regularly inspected to avoid dangerous situations.
Beginning a home fire escape plan can be a lengthy yet worthwhile process. Fire safety is complex, from familiarizing yourself with various fire safety tools to ensuring the whole household understands what to do in an emergency fire situation. Thankfully there are many resources and tips you can use to make this journey of fire safety a much simpler one!