What you should do to be prepared.
Time is of the essence when there’s a fire in your home. It can spread rapidly. In many cases, you only have 1-2 minutes to get out of your home safely once the smoke alarm goes off. In this article we’ll review exactly what you should do to be prepared.
Preparation. First, let’s talk about smoke alarms. There should be one in every bedroom of your home, plus additional alarms outside each sleeping area. Alarms should also be placed on every level of your home.
How to create a fire escape plan. First, gather everyone together. Physically walk through the home and look at all possible exits, including windows. There should be two ways out of every room – make sure everyone is aware of where those two escape routes are.
Make a plan. It’s a great idea, especially if you have children, to draw a floor plan of the house – including each level. Put a mark on the plan for every smoke alarm location. And then mark window and door exits. Be sure to indicate, with numbers, the first and second exit from every room. Remember to consider windows too. Some rooms may have more than 2 exits.
Try all the exits. As you walk through your home, make sure windows that could potentially serve as exits are easy to open.
Decide on your meeting place. Somewhere, at the front of the home, pick a place where everyone can gather after escaping a fire. Be sure it’s a safe distance from the home. You can pick a mailbox, neighbor’s home, stop sign or some other marker. Be sure that everyone is clear on where they should meet.
Your house number. Your number should be clearly visible from the street so that the fire department can locate your home easily.
Fire Department phone number. Everyone in the household should memorize the phone number of the fire department closest to them. Every second counts. If the number is memorized, you are more likely to get help faster.
Helping others. If there are infants or non-mobile occupants in your home, assign someone to take responsibility for helping that person escape the house. Assign a back-up person too, just in case someone is not available.
Security bars on the windows? If you have security bars, be sure they have a quick release mechanism in an emergency.
Guests? Be sure all visitors are aware of your fire escape plan. If you’ve posted the house plans you’ve created, they’ll be a big help to your guests. And when you’re the visitor, make sure you know how to escape the home your visiting.
Be prepared. When a smoke alarm goes off, get out of your house immediately. And once out, stay out. Do not go back into your home. If someone is missing, tell the fire department when you call.
Test your plan. Conduct real drills. Even at night when children are not prepared. Remember that even if children are on the second floor of a home, they need to have a way to escape a fire. Be sure everyone knows that the best escape route is the one with the least amount of fire and smoke. Practice escaping from your home by going low, under any potential smoke. It’s also advised that you close doors as you exit, as this will help slow the fire. You should also have a plan for when you have to seal yourself inside the house.
More information on developing your fire escape plan is available at www.nfpa.org. Learn more about Fire Safety Tips for Home and Business.
When everyone is safe outside your home following a fire, call Restoration 1 of West Denver at 720-573-2568. We provide 24-hour emergency service with highly trained restoration experts. We’re local, and we understand the devastation a fire can cause. We’re trained to handle the cleanup and restoration efforts – no matter how extensive the fire.