Exit Drills In The Home
Once a fire has started, there is no time to waste planning how to get out. That means that if you don't have a plan already, now is the time to sit down with your family and put one together. Make sure you know at least 2 ways out of your home and the quickest routes to get to those exits from any room in your house.
The most important thing about of your escape plan is knowing that it works. Make sure you practice your escape plan periodically and that you know the quickest route out of your home from any room in the house.
Once you are out of your home, you need to have a meeting place. Preferably, this should be a neighbors house. Decide on this place now and make sure every member of your household knows where it is. This will help in informing the fire department of any missing people.
Example of a house layout on a pre-plan
When figuring out a planned fire escape, there a couple of things to consider:
1. Are there 2 escape routes for some rooms, or is there really just 1.
Just because there is a window in a room, doesn't mean it can be used to escape. Remember, jumping out a window 2 stories up is not a safe way out.
2. Is everyone going to be able to get out with this plan.
The idea of pre-planning an escape is to make sure everyone gets out. Remember, a young child might not be able to reach a lock placed high up on a door. Someone will have to help them. Consider all the members of your household when you are making these plans and consider the possibility that someone might have to be assigned to help certain people escape.
Example of drawing up 2 ways out of your home
IN THE EVENT OF FIRE
Walk quickly and don't panic. Get out as fast as possible and dial 9-1-1. Once you have escaped, do not re-enter the building for any reason. If someone is trapped, inform the fire department. Firefighters have the best chance of rescuing them.
If while exiting you encounter smoke, stay low. The air is cleaner and easier to breathe the closer you get to the ground.
If you encounter a closed door, check the door with the back of your hand for heat. If the door is hot, do not open it. The fire might be behind that door. Remember to close doors behind you. This helps to slow the spread of fire.
If you are trapped, close the door to the room you are in and open a window to help get fresh air in. If you cannot escape from the window, wave a light colored towel out the window. If there is a phone in the room, call 9-1-1 and let them know there is a fire in your home and where you are.
REMEMBER: You are the most valuable possession you have. You can never be replaced.