Making a plan and holding regular fire drills will give each household member the confidence and knowledge to act quickly in an emergency. Here then are some tips on developing a family escape plan for your home:
- Sketch a layout of each floor, including windows, doors, and stairways. Go over the plan with family members and post it in your home as a reminder of all possible exits. Keep the phone number of the Fire Department handy by the phone.
- Have family members practice different escape routes (at least two per room). Fire drills also teach children that they must escape, not hide from fire.
- Place one family member in charge of helping the elderly or the very young to escape.
- Agree on a meeting place outside the home and instruct everyone to go there in case of fire. Discuss why you shouldn’t go back inside once you’re out. (People have died returning to a burning building).
Nearly one-third of home fire victims lost their lives in fires that were smoking-related. If you have a smoker in your home, install a smoke and fire alarm in his or her room and have large, heavy ashtrays placed in various locations.
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