Fire Safety in the Home: How to Prepare
Be ready for a fire emergency by creating an escape plan with your family. Find at least two routes to exit each room in case one becomes blocked. If a fire breaks out, every second counts. Practice your fire escape plan with family members so everyone knows how to leave the home quickly and safely.
Double-check that the windows are easy to open, no exits are blocked, and that screens can be easily removed. Being able to find your way out of your house in low or no vision situations is also key. Teach your children to exit the house as fast as possible and help them understand that firefighters are there to help.
Make sure that smoke alarms are up to date and have working batteries. Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and replace the devices every ten years or per the manufacturer’s instructions. Smoke alarms for people with visual and auditory impairments are available, as well as alarms that trigger an exterior strobe light that alerts neighbors and emergency crew to a fire your home.
For extra security, install a fire suppression system in your home and keep fire extinguishers on hand in the kitchen, laundry room, and garage. Make digital copies of all of your important documents and records, such as birth certificates and social security cards, in case they are destroyed.
Staying Safe During a Fire
If a fire breaks out, exit quickly. Stay low to the ground. Heat and smoke rise, so crawling makes your escape easier. Look for smoke around doorways and check doorknobs for signs of heat before opening a door.
If you are unable to reach people or pets who need assistance, exit the building and contact emergency services. Give them the exact location of the trapped person or pet. Emergency services will be better equipped to rescue people or pets from the home. If you become trapped, block all vents and spaces under the doors as best you can and call for help.
Being prepared for an emergency situation helps family members stay calm in the moment. A fire escape plan will teach everyone how to exit the home quickly. Choose a meeting place a safe distance from the house to check in with your family if a fire breaks out.