Home fire safety plan
Take time to develop an emergency evacuation plan with your family, here are a few helpful hints when designing your family’s escape plan:
• Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of the home, marking if possible two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. A great way to get children involved in fire safety, in a non-threatening way.
• Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home – sound the alarm so everyone knows what they sound like.
• Ideally ensure your smoke alarms are interconnected throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
• Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan. When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
• Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. a light post, gate post) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
• Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding fire service can find your home.
• Ensure everyone knows how to alert the fire service.
• If there are infants, elderly, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in a fire .
• If windows or doors in your home have security bars or are double glazed , identify ways of opening them or if necessary breaking them.
• Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family's fire escape plan. When staying overnight at other people's homes, ask about their escape plan. If they don't have a plan in place, offer to help them make one. This is especially important when children are permitted to attend "sleepovers" at friends' homes.
• Be fully prepared for a real fire: when a smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately.
• Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire service when you call.
• Putting your plan to the test
• Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
• Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
• Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
• Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
• In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in.
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