Does Your Family Have an Escape Plan?
Did you know? 50% of homeowners in the U.S. don’t have an escape plan.* In the case of a home fire, it is incredibly important that your whole family knows what to do and how to escape. The best way to ensure this and keep your family safe is be creating an escape plan.
Escape plans consist of meeting places, escape routes, and general fire safety knowledge. Is can be scary to talk about plans and emergency situations, but educating everyone in your family will help to make everyone confident about what to do in case a home fire ever occurs.
Step 1: Assign a Meeting Place
A meeting place is a specific area that is a safe distance away from your home. These areas can be a mailbox, light post, or neighbor’s house.It is important that everyone in your family knows where to meet.
Step 2: Identify All Exits
How many ways can you exit your home? Do you have a front and a back door? All of these exit routes should be identified and labeled on your escape plan. Also, it is recommended that you have 2 exit routes from every room in your house. Whether that is a door way or a window, make sure you are able to escape a room if the main route is blocked by fire.
Step 3: Route it Out
Look at each room and determine the best exit route. A great way to teach kids this is by drawing out a layout of your house and letting them trace their exit with a pencil or crayon.
Step 4: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
It is not enough to just make the plan, your whole family must practice the plan and time yourselves. Fire can spread fast through your home, only allowing as little as 2 minutes to escape the house.** By practicing your escape plan, you and your family can become more confident in what to do in the case of an emergency.
It is also important to teach your family about fire safety while planning your escape route. Learning to stay low, stop-drop-and-roll, how to safely check if there is a fire behind a closed door, and even what the smoke alarm sounds like will be beneficial for everyone in the family.
Make sure you take the time to sit down with your family and plan and practice your escape route.
*First Alert Consumer Target Identification and Segmentation Report, Insights in Marketing, June 2016
**How to make a home fire escape plan, National Fire Protection Association, 2018