Fire Safety – Have a Plan!

Author: Shannon Miller

Though it’s something we most likely do not think about regularly, having a plan for our family in the case of an emergency is very important.

In a fire emergency, every second counts. And, often times, injuries occur because a plan wasn’t in place beforehand.

Check out the tips below for devising a plan for your family:

  • Practice escaping from every room in your house. Devise 2 exit plans for each room; this way, if the first route is blocked by fire and/or smoke, you can utilize your second plan.  A secondary plan might include going out a window onto the roof or using a collapsible ladder to get down from an upper story window.
  • Get out of the house immediately. If faced with a fire, forget about your possessions and get out promptly.  Attempt to get out the safest way possible.  If you have to go through smoke, try to crawl under the smoke and cover your mouth.
  • Be careful when opening doors. To check for fire on the other side of a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, the door knob and the crack between the door and the door frame.  If it is hot, try using your alternate exit route.  Even in the event that the door feels cool, open it with caution.
  • Specify a meeting place outside. Decide on one place that everyone will meet once they get out of the house.  This will make it easy to account for everyone, so nobody is concerned about someone who is no longer in harm’s way. 
  • Stay outside. Once you are outside, stay outside – and designate 1 person to call the fire department. 

TIP:  Take time this week to come up with a plan for your family in the event of an emergency.

Source: United States Fire Administration – Department of Homeland Security website

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