An escape plan is a strategy for a safe exit from your home during a fire. Hopefully, you'll never have a fire in your home. But if a fire does occur, your safety will depend on calm, rational action. An escape plan can be your key to a safe way out. Once you think you've got this information mastered, test your knowledge by taking our Home Fire Escape Test!
DESIGNING A HOME ESCAPE PLAN
Draw the floor plan of your home on a piece of paper. Post your plan where it can be easily seen (such as on your refrigerator). Be sure to include:
- All doors and windows
- Primary and alternate exits
- Emergency phone numbers
- Outdoor meeting place
- Special assignments (who will call fire department, sound the alarm, check that everyone got out, etc.)
- Location of smoke detectors
HOLD FIRE DRILLS REGULARLY
Your plan may look good on paper, but will it really work? Regular drills allow you to test your plan and adjust it as needed. Practice using alternate escape routes. Children should practice getting out of windows (only while under a parent's/guardian's supervision).
SOME SURVIVAL TIPS
If you hear the smoke detector, smell smoke, or someone is shouting fire:
- Crawl to the door on your hands and knees, not on your stomach. Smoke and gases rise to the ceiling and the air is safer close to the floor.
- Feel the door before opening it. If it's cool, brace yourself against it and open it carefully. If you notice smoke or heat, close it immediately.
- Use an alternate exit (a second way out, such as the window, if possible) if the door is hot or smoke comes through it.
- Signal for help by waving a sheet or any light colored clothing if you cannot escape through the window.
- Go to your family meeting place in front and away from your home to check that everyone got out and to meet the fire department.
- Never go back into a burning building. Tell firefighters immediately if someone is left in the building.
- Seek medical help for burns and other injuries.
PLAN FOR ANY SPECIAL NEEDS
Certain people face greater risks during a fire. You may need to make special arrangements for:
- Elderly People
- Hearing Impaired
- Visually Impaired
- Mentally Retarded
- Physically Handicapped
PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FROM FIRE!