According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), eight out of ten fire-related deaths take place in the home. While smoke detectors and residential sprinkler systems have made considerable strides in fire safety, if and when a fire occurs, you and your family need a home fire escape plan. The very best way to accomplish this is by developing and practicing a home fire escape plan.
Elementary-school memories vary from one student to another. Recess, multiplication tables, show & tell, and fire drills – each of us remembers differently. One student may fondly remember the fire drill siren that postponed a dreaded multiplication table test giving them one more day to prepare. Another might not forget the siren interrupting show & tell, while a third student remembers getting out of gym class only to have to stand in line outside in the cold. One thing is sure though – school fire drills gave teachers and students confidence that they knew what to do and where to go if there was ever a fire.
Shouldn’t you have that at home?
- Discussing fire safety calmly with everyone in the home
- Walking through your home as you devise a fire escape plan
- Inspecting all exits and escape routes to make sure they are accessible
- Drawing a floor plan of your home with escape routes included
- Planning two ways out of each room (include both doors and windows)
- Installing fire escape ladders on 2nd story windows where necessary
- Teaching children how to open windows in case of emergency
- Choosing a safe meeting place outside near the front of your home
- Practicing the home fire escape plan regularly
By calmly helping your children understand that sometimes dangerous things happen, you help them develop the skills needed to respond safely. Practicing your family’s home fire escape plan several times a year, at different times of the day, will allow your family members to become comfortable with the process. If the time comes, instead of panicking, your family will know what to do and where to go.
To help with the tasks of talking to children about fire safety and planning a home fire escape plan, the NFPA has developed an interactive I Know My Fire Safety Plan Story and a printable Escape Planning Grid. When you have a question about fire safety in your business or home, Brigade Fire Protection has an answer.