October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week: Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan?
The National Fire Protection Association, an international nonprofit established in 1896, recognizes the need to remind the public about the importance of fire prevention and safety. That’s why every year the organization selects one week in the month of October to educate communities all over the world about the topic. This year’s Fire Prevention Week takes place October 7-13.
When it comes to fire prevention and safety, the greatest thing a family can do to protect themselves from the dangers of a home fire is to come up with an emergency exit plan. What procedures have you put in place to make sure your family reacts smartly to a potential home fire? Listed below are some of the NFPA’s best fire escape plan ideas to implement into your strategy.
Have Two Ways Out
“Have 2 Ways Out” is this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme. It is a good idea to designate two escape plans for every room in your house, just in case one exit is blocked by smoke or flames. Be sure to practice both plans with your family, so that everyone knows how to escape on their own.
Clear Your Escape Routes
Be sure to always keep your hallways and exit ways clear of clutter and furniture to allow for a smooth, easy exit. Blocking windows and doorways with tall, heavy pieces of furniture is not advised, as they will be difficult to remove in the event of a fire and could cause someone to become trapped.
Purchase Fire Extinguishers
Generally, if a fire in your home is small and a fire extinguisher is near, it is OK to try to fight the fire using the extinguisher. Purchase small fire extinguishers for your home and place them in strategic places that are easy to reach. Walk each member of your family through the proper use of the extinguisher. To combat small grease fires, place baking soda by the kitchen stove. If a fire is large or there is excessive smoke, exit your home immediately and call the fire department.
Purchase Fire Safety Ladders
Fire safety ladders are ideal for second story rooms. Escape ladders are retractable and lightweight, so they can easily be stored in your dresser or nightstand and attached to the window. The best safety ladders shouldn’t tangle when deployed and should feature anti-slip rungs. Be sure to practice using the ladder to reduce misuse and injury. Purchase one safety ladder for each second-story room with a window, in case the doorway becomes blocked by smoke or fire.
Know the Tricks to Prevent Smoke Inhalation
Use a shirt or towel to cover your nose and mouth until you have escaped the building. If possible, find a way to soak the towel in cold water. If you become trapped, close the door to the room you are trapped in and seal the bottom with towels or clothing. If possible, cover all air vents, as well. Open the window to the room, and wave your arms to alert the fire department of your location. Never break the window. Smoke from the outside could begin to enter the room, and you will want to close the window, if that occurs.
Because fire can spread rapidly, you and your family could have as little as two minutes to escape safely once your smoke alarm goes off. This is why it is so important to have a solid escape plan and know the dos and don’ts of fire prevention and safety. For more information about how to plan a fire escape plan for your home, please visit the National Fire Protection Association’s official website at NFPA.org.
Silvia Brooks is a freelance blogger who writes for several consumer help websites, such as www.HomeSecurity.org. Her articles cover a wide range of topics but mainly focus on home upkeep, family budgeting and personal security. Please leave your questions and comments for Silvia below.
– This blog entry was written by Silvia Brooks for Canadian Security Professionals. For more information on how to get a monitored smoke detector call us today – We are a 100% Canadian Alarm System Company.