Even the most cautious household may still experience a house fire. During a fire, time is not on your side. Fire can spread throughout the home within 30 seconds giving family members very little time to find their way to safety before your home is filled with dangerous flames and smoke.
Different factors can plan into the intensity of the fire, including time of day. Should a fire break out during the night while everyone sleeps, a closed door may not alert the household to smoke or flames until they have spread further into the home, potentially blocking exits and escape routes.
Planning several ways out of the home in case of a fire is extremely important for everyone in the household, especially if you have small children or elderly adults in the home. It is also a great idea to practice the evacuation plan regularly, with different areas “blocked” during each drill.
Let’s take a closer look at how to create a fire escape evacuation plan for your home, giving you and your family the most time possible to escape the danger safely.
Prepare Your Home to Alert You to a Fire
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide readers should be installed in each room of your home. If it is not possible to have a detector in every room, a detector should be installed on every floor. It is important to ensure that all smoke detectors are in working order with functioning batteries, and that all rooms can hear the alarms when they go off.
Test your fire detectors twice a year, and replace the batteries at this time – we recommend on the same day when daylight savings time falls – when you set back (or jump forward) your clocks, it’s time to test your smoke detectors!
Creating an Escape Plan
Once you have installed proper fire detectors in each room, it is time to start planning your way out in case of a fire.
- Step one is walking through your home and identifying all possible exits. Many websites offer downloadable templates to help with drawing out a plan. Once you have sketched out the layout of your floor plan, mark each exit from all rooms including both doors and windows. Each room should have at least two exits – a main escape route, and a backup in case the main exit is blocked.
- Once you have identified each exit in each room, walk through each escape route with family members. Families with children should take enough time with each child to ensure they understand how to escape from each route, especially if a window exit is necessary. Be ready to answer any questions, and allow the children to practice climbing out the window themselves, just as they would in the event of an actual fire.
- During your escape planning, be certain that each member is able to escape from their rooms on their own. If there are younger children, elderly, or handicapped individuals, designate another family member as that individuals “buddy”. This person will assist the other during an emergency.
- Once everyone is comfortable with their two escape routes, it is time to designate a meeting place. Once you are safely outside it is important to stay as far away from the home as possible, and one meeting place is ideal to keep everyone close. A designated location such a mailbox, neighbors house, or a light post, are all great places as a designated meet up spot. Once each family member reaches the outdoors, they should head immediately to the meet up location and stay there until everyone else arrives.
- Call emergency services. Designate one person to call the fire department and alert them to what is happening, and how many people and pets could potentially still be in the home. Under no circumstances should you, or anyone else, go back into the burning house. Leave the heroics to the professionals, and stay away from the fire where it is safe!
- It is extremely important to practice your fire escape plans regularly, and with different areas “blocked” off due to fire, or a different area where the fire has originated. Typically families have no more than two minutes to escape a fire before the smoke fills the rooms, and makes it incredibly difficult to maneuver through the home. Practicing the escape plan consistently will make everyone more comfortable with the evacuation procedure.
While a fire is an incredibly devastating disaster for any household to experience, taking the necessary precautions and planning properly can help you keep your family and household as safe as possible in the event of a fire.
Should you experience a house fire, it is important to bring everything back to normal as quickly as possible and with as little inconvenience to you and your family. The professional fire restoration team at A & J Restoration are here to guide you through the entire process, work with your insurance company, and restore your home back to itself as quickly as possible.
Our Fire Restoration team is available 24 hour a day, 7 days a week for emergency services and are ready to get you back on your feet and in your home as quickly as possible. Call us today for more information regarding our restoration services and how we can help during this difficult time.