Knowing what to do before a fire breaks out can save your life. Therefore, one should develop a home escape plan to ensure that everyone can make it out during an emergency.
Make a home escape plan in three simple steps.
- Draw a floor plan of your house showing two ways out of every room. Your first way out should always be the way you would normally leave your house. Windows should only be considered as a secondary exit. Make sure every exit is usable. If a ladder is needed to use a window, determine where and how you would get that ladder in an emergency. You may need to purchase a collapsible ladder to store in the room.
- Have a meeting place outside, a safe distance from your home. This meeting place should be somewhere that is always available, and easily remembered, such as by the mailbox. Call the fire department from your meeting place. Never go back into a burning building for any reason.
- Practice your escape plan. Since most fires occur at night when people are asleep, practice leaving from your bedrooms. Since smoke and heat rises, practice crawling out below the smoke. You should also practice using both exits, especially if it requires using the ladder, so every one is familiar with doing it. We learn best through repetition, so practice at least monthly. To add some realism to your practice, do it at night with the lights out.
Home escape planning is only a part of a program of home fire safety, which includes installing smoke alarms and conducting home fire safety inspections. By completing all three steps you will increase your chances of surviving a home fire.
For more information on home escape planning, contact the Liberty Fire Department at 816.439.4310.