Checking out fire escape plans on the internet. Here are the basics of what I sifted through:
- Draw a map showing escape routes from your home. Post it in each room. Post emergency number on map. (You can do this on standard graph paper.)
- There should be two exits from each room.
- Designate a meeting place outside of the home and make sure everyone knows where it is. Once two people are at the spot, one of them should go call for help. Once you are out of the house, stay out.
- Practice your escape plan at least every 6 months. Some sites suggested every month.
- Practice: crawling under smoke; feeling doors for heat…top, doorknob, cracks…don’t open if hot; stop, drop, roll if you are on fire; covering mouth and nose with shirt; how to release secured windows and remove screens quickly; with eyes closed or blindfolded; climbing out windows and down ladders; extinguishing a small fire; use sound of smoke alarm when practicing.
- Learn how to extinguish different kinds of fires.
- Yell “fire” during a real fire.
- Keep extinguishers on all floors of house and in garage and make sure everyone know where they are.
- During a fire, always open door carefully even if it’s not hot. Brace your shoulder on the door. Close quickly if smoke or heat are present. Use secondary exit.
- Check to make sure that the security on your windows are quick release and simple to use.
- Get escape ladders if your windows are high off the ground.
- Have smoke alarms in all the bedrooms, near the door.
- Test alarms frequently.
- Make sure everyone understands how quickly they need to react to smoke or fire.
You might also consider getting window stickers that alert firefighters that there are children or pets in the house. I also thought it might be a good idea to put reflective tape around exits…couldn’t hurt, right?
Our cat has a door to get in and out of the house through. I’m seriously thinking of getting one for the dogs, too. I would think it would be useful to include dogs in escape practice. Maybe even train them to go out a doggy door when they hear the smoke alarm.
I’m going to put it on my calendar to have my family practice. Make me happy and you do it too, okay?