Home Escape Planning
Nationwide, more than 2,500 people die each year and almost 14,000 people are injured in fires. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence, every second counts! Once a fire starts in a home, there is no time to plan on how to get out. You may have only 1-2 minutes to get out safely. Now is the time to sit down with your family and make a step-by-step plan for escaping a fire in your home. Donít just plan it; practice it twice a year with everyone in your home at night and during the daytime.
Did you know that only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan? While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47% of those have practiced it. Those statistics are staggering as almost 80% of fires start in the home.
Practice Your Plan & Have Working Smoke Alarms in Your Home!
- Draw a map of each level of the home. Show two ways out of every room.
- Have an outside meeting place like a mailbox, tree, or light pole on the same side of the street as your home.
- Make sure windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be opened easily.
- Practice your plan to make sure that children and adults react to the smoke alarm and know what to do.
- Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure that someone helps them.
- Install smoke alarms inside every sleeping area, in hallways outside of sleeping areas and on every level of your home. Test your smoke alarm once a month by pushing the button and hearing the sound.
Crawl Low & Go - Once You Are Out Stay Out!
- Smoke and heat rise, cleaner air is closer to the floor.
- Crawl on your hands and knees, keeping your head 12-24 inches above the floor and crawl outside to your meeting place.
- Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and then the door. If either is hot, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
- If there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
- Once you are out, do not go back in for any reason, not even for pets!
- If people are trapped, firefighters have the best chance of rescuing them. Firefighters have the training, experience and protective equipment needed to enter burning buildings.
- Call the fire department from outside your home.
If You Are Trapped Ė Shelter in Place
- If you can't get out, stay in the room with the door closed.
- Stuff cracks around the doors to keep smoke out.
- Wait at the window and signal for help with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
- If there is a telephone in the room, call 9-1-1 and report your location.
Residential fire sprinkler systems attack a fire in its early stages by spraying water only on the area where the fire has begun. Consider installing fire sprinklers in your home if you donít already have them.