Every year, fires kill 3,500 Americans. Each of these deaths is a tragedy; however, the greater tragedy may be that most fire related deaths are preventable.
According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), one of the leading causes of death during fires is failed emergency escapes. When a fire breaks out, a small flame can become a major fire in less than 30 seconds. Time is a major factor during fires and an emergency evacuation plan might save the lives of you and your family. So get to it and follow these simple steps for creating an emergency evacuation plan for your home. Just make sure to do it soon, before a fire…
1. Plan Your Evacuation with Your Family
Before creating an emergency evacuation plan, you’ll need to get organized. Draw a diagram of your home complete with all doors and windows. Plan two (2) exit strategies for every room of the house. Making alternate exit routes is important because a fire can obstruct any given route. Planning for the worst is definitely the best practice when planning for a fire.
2. Practice Your Evacuation
There’s a reason for the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” You’ll need to practice your evacuation plan with every member of your family. Don’t forget to teach any children that live in your house. Children as young as 3 years old can be taught emergency evacuation plans. The USFA recommends practicing your evacuation plan from every room in the house, so you can be prepared whenever a fire breaks out.
3. Establish a Meeting Area Outside the Home
Designate a specific place away from the home where everyone knows to meet. This location should be a landmark that’s far enough away from the home to be clear of any danger but close enough so that everyone knows exactly where it is.
4. Eliminate Obstructions on Doors and Windows
Bars on windows and doors can be useful for preventing burglars from entering your home but such security measures can be deadly in case of a fire. Make sure any security bars you install come equipped with a release latch or some other method for quick removal.