Why Should You Create a Fire Escape Plan?
Every household should have some sort of fire escape plan in place just in case the worst was to happen. Hopefully you will never have to use it, but it is important to prepare for it so there is no delay when it is put into action. Time is your biggest enemy when escaping from a burning building. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and can turn into a major fire.
When creating a fire escape plan, incorporate the following elements:
- When coming to a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, the doorknob and the crack between the door and the frame to make sure that the fire is not directly outside. If the door feels hot, use the secondary exit. If the door feels cool, brace yourself against it and open it slowly.
- Do not waste any time trying to save your personal property. Instead, take the safest exit route.
- If you must escape through smoke, crawl low under the smoke and cover your mouth.
- Establish a meeting place outside of the home where everyone knows to go once they are safely out. Designate one person to go to a neighbour’s house to call the fire service.
- Never go back into a burning home for any reason.
You and your family should establish an escape plan that outlines at least two exits from each room in your home in the event of a fire. If the primary exit is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out. It is also advisable to have a room in which you could all stay in if the worse was to happen. It would be suggested that this room also has a telephone so you can summon help. Make sure all the children know your address in case they have to telephone themselves.
Every member of your family should practise the escape plan each month both in the light and in the dark so that everyone knows how to feel their way out of the house. Special arrangements need to be made in consideration of any elderly people who may live with you and how you will implement the escape.
If you are concerned about how you would escape from your home in case of fire, the fire and rescue service will help you devise an escape plan, free of charge. More information can be found here.
This blog article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as professional advice.