Stay Safe with a Smart Fire Escape Plan

Make every second count!

Safety Corner

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), burns and fires are the third leading cause of death in the home. 

In the event of a fire, you have less than two minutes to escape safely. 

However, most residential fires occur between midnight and 6 a.m., when you’re most likely sleeping. 

The best – and easiest – way to make sure you and your family get out alive? Have a fire escape plan. 

Design an escape plan with your entire family, and practice your escape plan with the entire household at least twice a year – once during the day, and once at night. 

During these fire drills, make sure everyone can check off the following items:

  • Know two unobstructed ways out of each room.
  • Feel all doors for evidence of heat before opening them.
  • Close doors behind you to help slow the spread of fire.
  • Close room doors before opening windows.
  • Remember to crawl low under smoke.
  • If your escape route involves an upper-level window, be sure to plan a safe way of getting to the ground.
  • Decide on a meeting place. Pick a place that is safely away from the home but not across a busy street. The entire household should agree on a spot (e.g., mailbox, tree, neighbor’s house) and know to meet there in the event of an emergency.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
  • Stop, drop and roll if your clothing catches on fire. 

The most important part of your fire escape plan is to have a working smoke detector installed on every level of your home and in every bedroom. 

Test detectors monthly and change batteries twice a year to make sure they are working properly. 

And never ignore a fire alarm! In a fire, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. 

For more fire safety tips, visit the National Fire Protection Association.

 

Published on: October 10, 2017