Be Prepared: Your Family’s Fire Evacuation Safety Plan
No one knows when a fire might break out which is why it’s important to establish fire evacuation plans with your family. Anyone who cares for the children, babysitters or nannies, and guests of your home, should be a part of these evacuation plans. Special care should be given to elderly family members, or those who have difficulty moving quickly, and special arrangements should be made to accommodate them. The family should practice it regularly making sure that everyone knows all available exits from their home.
The Planning Process
All evacuation plans should be drawn into diagrams and posted in convenient places around your home, where they could easily be accessed when needed. Make your diagrams for your fire evacuation plans simple and easy to read. It is equally important not to make your diagrams too detailed. An excess amount of information may only cause confusion.
Fire scenarios might be acted out to give all family members alternate options of escape depending on where the fire might break out. For instance, if the fire was near the furnace, as opposed to in the kitchen near the stove, the evacuation plans would be different. Remember, a fire could break out in almost any part of the house, but most house fires begin in the kitchen.
Make sure that all family members know where the phone is, and that they also know where all emergency numbers can be located. It is best to have these numbers written on your diagram, and also next to the phone. Even a small child can be taught how to dial 911.
Tips to Creating Your Family’s Fire Evacuation Plans
- Designate one or two adults or responsible older teenagers to be the leaders who will be calling out directions making sure everyone is following the right plan. Decide who will call emergency services.
- Using graph paper, draw a simple floor plan of your house marking “You Are Here” with a star. Highlight all possible exits (windows and doors) that are large enough to escape from.
- Draw a red arrow to each possible escape window, and a black arrow to each escape door.
- Involve the kids in helping to decide the best two ways to safely escape from every floor and each room.
- Explain to children old enough to understand about what to do if the smoke alarm goes off. For example, go to the nearest door and feel it to see if it is hot. If it is, exit the nearest window immediately. If it is not, exit through the door and follow the escape plan.
- Younger children will be guided either by an adult, or an older responsible child.
- Once everyone is safely outside, one designated adult will make sure everyone stays there until help arrives.
Precautionary Tips to Preventing Fires
- Keep a reliable smoke detector in each part of the house (it is even better to have one in every room) and test them every month. Be sure to replace the batteries once a year (New Year’s Day is a good time to remember to do this). If you cannot afford a smoke detector, your fire department can help you with this.
- You should have a multipurpose fire extinguisher in your kitchen. They are very useful to put out small fires before they get out of control.
- Don’t forget to keep your dryer vent cleaned out regularly.
- Before the cold weather sets in, using a damp cloth, take a few minutes to clean the dust off heaters, fireplace igniters, and furnace igniters to prevent that nasty odor of burning dust when first using them. This is also a good time to change the furnace filters.
- Fireplaces, wood burning stoves, and pellet stoves have a tendency to get a buildup of creosote in their chimneys. You can either have a professional clean them, DIY and purchase a chimney sweep brush from your local hardware store, or purchase specially treated logs that are designed to burn the creosote and turn it into ash that you can sweep out afterwards.
- Make sure that any flammable liquids, rags, clothes, debris, or pet beds, etc. are well away from any heating devices.
- Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended for any length of time.
- Be careful not to overload outlets with too many power strips, extension cords, and electrical devices, especially in older homes where wiring can easily become overheated, causing a fire. Outlets have two plugs for a reason.
- Smokers, be extra cautious while smoking in your home. Never smoke in bed. A cigarette that is lit will smolder for many hours before it bursts into flames. When smoking outside and while driving, take care not to flick your lit cigarette where it might start a fire. Smoke and dispose of your lit cigarettes in a responsible manner.
There are many safety hazards hiding in your home. Take the time to find them to prevent a dangerous situation.
Peace of Mind Security
The ultimate security for your family’s safety is having your smoke alarms tied into a specialized security
y system that sets off an alarm and notifies the proper authorities when there’s a fire.
These systems can be monitored with your smart phone or your computer. They can be set up to notify you whenever a door or window is opened. You can even conveniently monitor when your children come home from school, or when they come home in the evening after activities.
Contact Safe Touch Security for all of your home security needs. We are the largest in
dependent communication-security company in the United States. Our trained professionals are ready to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. We have been serving Florida’s Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, and Tallahassee areas and also families in Savanna, Georgia, for over 20 years.