Fire Safety Planning at Home
Developing a home fire escape plan is one of the most important actions you can take in protecting your life and the lives of your family and friends. All fire departments, no matter where you live, urge you to develop and practice a fire escape plan for your home.
The following provides information on how to develop a home fire escape plan:
- Install smoke detectors on each floor of your home and test them regularly.
- Draw a floor plan of your home that indicates all possible exits from each room.
- Where possible, plan a main route and an alternate exit route from each room.
- Make sure that everyone understands that if they hear the smoke detector, or hear someone shouting "fire", they should immediately evacuate the home.
- Decide on a meeting place outside your home. In the case of a fire, go to this designated area. Someone should then be sent to phone the fire department.
- Meet the firefighters when they arrive.
- Ensure that everyone in your home knows not to re-enter a burning building. Firefighters are properly equipped and trained to perform rescue operations.
- Before opening any door as you leave, feel it with the back of your hand. If the door is hot - do not open it: use an alternate exit. If windows in the upper level rooms cannot serve as alternative exits, open a window and shout for help.
- A properly installed and maintained smoke detector should provide enough warning to enable you to safely leave your home, even if there is no alternate exit available.
- In a smoke filled area, the cool air is low to the floor. Practice your escape plan by crawling on your hands and knees.
- If you live in an apartment building, develop your escape plan taking into account fire escape procedures provided by the building management.
- If anyone in your home is unable to evacuate without assistance, assign someone to assist them.
- When you have a babysitter or guests staying in your home, ensure that they become familiar with the fire escape plan.
- Always remember to practice your fire escape plan on a regular basis, to ensure that every family member knows what to do. In the event of a fire emergency, this will also help in preventing panic, particularly in dealing with children.