A residential fire can become life-threatening in less than two minutes, making every second valuable. Escaping a fire quickly and safely should always be the main priority. Creating a household fire escape plan is simple, and practicing it regularly can mean the difference between life and death.
Fire Escape Safety Tips
- Identify two ways out of every room in the house and decide on a safe meeting place away from the house.
- Write down the escape plan.
- Practice the escape plan at least twice a year with everyone in the household.
Before a Fire
Residential fires, like other disaster types, require an ample amount of planning and preparation. As you develop an escape plan with your loved ones at home, always remember to:
- Regularly practice escaping from every room of the home during both the day and night.
- Identify two ways out of every room. If one passageway is blocked, having an established second option will help save valuable time.
- Teach every household member how to quickly remove any security bars from windows and doors.
- Designate a meeting place away from the home, such as a front-yard tree or on the sidewalk.
- Make sure everyone knows when and how to call emergency telephone numbers.
- Inform house guests about fire escape plans.
During a Fire
When it comes to escaping a residential fire, every second counts. When a fire occurs at home, remember to:
- Help individuals with limited mobility evacuate the property.
- Close doors to keep the fire from spreading.
- Get low and go! Practice getting low or crawling in case there is smoke. Smoke and hot air rise, so staying low to the floor may help you breathe and see better as you escape.
- Stay inside a room and immediately call the fire department if smoke, heat or flames block both established escape routes. Open the room’s window and use a bright-colored object or flashlight to signal the location.
- Home fires progress quickly, so do not spend time trying to save personal property.
- Call 911 after reaching the meeting place.
- Once outside, do not go back inside. If someone is missing, inform the 911 dispatcher. Firefighters have the proper equipment and training to handle rescues.