Fire Escape Tips and Tricks
When considering exits in the house usually you think of the front door, back door, and garage but that’s looking at the house as a whole. If you want the perfect fire escape plan, look to have at least two exits in each room of the house. For example, your bedroom’s two exits would be the door leading out of it and the window. Having two exits is extremely important because if the fire is on one side you won’t be completely trapped in. If the room is on the second floor make sure you have an emergency ladder and know how to use it.
2. Smoke Detectors
Make sure your house has a smoke alarm on each floor that can be clearly heard from all rooms. This is extremely important at night because the alarm needs to be loud enough to wake you from your sleep. These alarms should also be tested each month, and if the alarms make a small beeping sound, then the batteries need to be replaced.
3. Outdoor Gathering Area
After everyone has exited the house in the case of a fire, they should all know where to meet. This will be based off of a pre-planned area that your family has decided on. Some good examples are a neighbor’s lawn or a lamp post located next to your house. Make sure that the meeting place is easy to find, but also far enough away from the house to ensure complete safety. In the case of a full out fire, the firemen will need space around the house for trucks and equipment so see to it that the meeting place does not affect their positioning.
This is the most important tip because none of the other tips matter if you don't apply this one. In order to maximize the safety of everyone living in the house, they should all know the emergency plan very well. A reliable method to ensure this would be to escape an imaginary fire with everyone in the house every six months. If your whole family is familiar with the escape plan having practiced it many times over, then there will be less chance of panic during an actual fire. Keeping calm in these types of situations is key.
5. Additional Tricks
If you are unable to escape from the house during a fire, here are some tricks to keep you safe: - Shut all doors but do not lock them. Proceed to seal any cracks on the top, sides, and bottom of the door. Wet towels are great for these situations.
- Open windows to allow fresh air in.
- Call 911 and give them your address, making sure to specify that you are trapped inside. - Keep a flashlight to shine out of your window if it is dark outside so that the firefighters know where you are. If it’s daytime, you can give away your location by hanging a large piece of white or bright colored fabric from your window.
- If smoke is entering your home, wet a piece of fabric and keep it over your mouth and nose while laying flat on the ground as far away from the smoke as possible - Don’t panic while you wait for rescue. Steady and slow breathing is impertinent in situations like this.