Having a fire safety plan in place reduces your chances of suffering from injuries during a home fire. More than 2,500 people die each year in the United States from home fires and more than 12,000 people suffer fire and smoke related injuries. Many of these could have been avoided if a fire safety plan was put in place. A fire safety plan is the best way to protect your family from the dangers of a fire.
Talk It Over
Sit down and talk with all of the members in your household. Together, develop a plan that everyone knows to follow should the house catch on fire. Draw a map of the house, including all rooms, closets and exterior doors and windows. Mark all possible exits from each room. Plan to gather at a specific place outside of the home that is a safe distance from the fire. Also, have everyone in the family memorize the phone number of one family or friend to call should you get separated.
Characteristics of Fire
Knowing the different characteristics of a fire will help better prepare you and your family for the unthinkable. Fire is extremely fast and can turn into an out of control situation is less than 30 seconds. Fire temperatures can range from 100 degrees to 600 degrees, causing a room to get so hot that everything in it spontaneously ignites. Fire may be bright when it first begins, but after a few minutes, a layer of thick black smoke turns everything dark. This can disorient you, making it hard to find your way to safety.
It’s a good idea to have a back up plan when developing a fire safety plan. We all know that not everything goes as planned and when lives are at risk, having backups to your backups is preferable. Discuss your backup plans and make sure everyone in the family knows them.
Fire Safety Equipment
There are some things you can have in your home that will help better protect your family from the threat of a fire. Have smoke detectors in every room of the house and regularly check the batteries. Have at least one fire extinguisher for every level of the home. For multi-level homes, put collapsible ladders in the window to help you and your family escape when trapped on the second floor.
Being prepared before the fire happens will help reduce the risk of injury. Though not a part of a safety plan, it’s a good idea to take photos and video of your home. You can easily do this while walking through the home with your family as you map out the different rooms and exits. This will help you be prepared if you ever have to file a claim with the insurance company.
Remember to not hesitate when leaving your home. Remind others in your family to not return to the home and to follow the fire safety plan. The sooner you and your family get to safety, the sooner you will peace of mind that everyone is okay.