As firefighters, we know that every second counts when there’s a fire. We encourage you to prepare a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice every year with all the people in your home, including your children and people with disabilities. In less than 30 seconds, a seemingly small fire can become out of control and turn into a major fire. Within minutes, your home could be filled with thick, black smokes and flames. Preparing and training everyone for a quick escape could be lifesaving.
- Post emergency numbers in several areas of your home. Teach your children to call 911 if they’re home alone and there’s a fire.
- Be sure your property address and entrance to your home are easily visible from the road so emergency vehicles can find it quickly.
- Draw a map of each level of your home, and show all the doors and windows.
- Establish two ways to get out of every room.
- Check all doors and windows that lead outside and make sure they open easily. Security bars must have quick release devices so they can be opened quickly in an emergency. Make sure all the people in your household know how to open locked or barred exits.
- Teach your children how to escape on their own.
- Have an escape plan for any disabled persons in your household.
- Practice your escape plan at night, and during the daytime.
- Collapsible safety ladders should only be used in a real emergency, not for practice. Make sure the ladder you purchase has been tested by a recognized testing agency.