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Creating A Fire Escape Plan
Your family means everything to you! Put them first by creating a fire escape plan that makes sense for your home and the age of your kids.
You can put yourself on the right path to protection following these easy steps:
- Using grid paper or your computer, draw a floor map of your home. Show all doors and windows.
- Look around each room and find two ways out.
- Check all windows and doors to make sure they open easily and you can get out through them. Add a collapsible ladder to any room where it would be needed to get out a window safely.
- Designate a meeting place outside your home where all family members will congregate after escaping a fire or other disaster.
- Mark routes to the meeting place on the map for each room and place a copy in every room.
- Inspect your smoke alarms. Make sure the number and their placement meets your state’s code. Test them to make sure they are working.
- Confirm that your house number can be seen from the street — add numbers to your mailbox if you have one on the street.
- If you have children and pets, you can put a sticker on your doors that indicate how many are inside.
- Confirm that the best number to dial if you have a fire is 911.
- Contact any security company you employ and let them know how many children and pets you have and where they likely are if there’s a fire (where the children’s bedrooms are and where you keep your pets when you’re not at home).
- Discuss the plan as well as the following safety practices to employ while escaping a fire:
- If they see smoke coming under the door, don’t open the door.
- If you don’t see smoke under the door, touch the door to see if it’s hot — don’t touch the door knob if the door is hot. Don’t open the door if it’s hot. If it’s cool, carefully touch the door knob to make sure it’s cool.
- If the doorknob is cool and there’s no smoke around the door, open the door and use the safety route to get outside, if possible.
- If you see smoke in the house, but no fire, get low to the ground and make your way to the exit.
- If you can’t get out using the usual path to an outside door, go back in your room, shut the door and go out the window, using the ladder if it’s needed.
- Hold several fire drills to make sure everyone knows what to do.
Once you have this plan in place, make sure you review it several times each year, especially if your children are younger and may forget the plan. Make a game of it — it’ll feel less like a chore, and be easier to remember in the long run!