Make sure all family members know what to do in the event of a fire. Draw a floor plan with at least two ways of escaping every room. Make a drawing for each floor. Dimensions do not need to be correct. Make sure the plan shows important details: stairs, hallways and windows that can be used as fire escape routes.
- Test windows and doors: do they open easy enough?
- Choose a safe meeting place outside the house.
- Practice alerting other members.
- Keep a bell and flashlight in each bedroom.
Conduct a family meeting and discuss the following topics:
- Always sleep with the bedroom doors closed. This will keep deadly heat and smoke out of bedrooms, giving you additional time to escape.
- Find a way for everyone to sound a family alarm. Yelling, pounding on walls, whistles, etc. Practice yelling "FIRE!"
- In a fire, time is critical. Don't waste time getting dressed, don't search for pets or valuables. Just get out!
- Roll out of bed. Stay low. One breath of smoke or gases may be enough to kill.
Every month, prepare and practice an escape route with the entire family, including children.
Some tips to consider when preparing your escape plan include:
- Find two ways to get out of each room. If the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out. A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
- Only purchase collapsible ladders evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
- Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
Once Out, Stay Out
Remember to escape first and then notify the fire department using the 9-1-1 system or proper local emergency number in your area. Never go back into a burning building for any reason. Teach children not to hide from firefighters. If someone is missing, tell the firefighters. They are equipped to perform rescues safely.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY CALL 911!!!