Note: This post is part of the Prepared Blogger‘s 30 Days of Preparedness series to celebrate National Preparedness Month.
Day 4: Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan?
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, you have a one in four chance of experiencing a house fire large enough to need to call for firefighters’ assistance.
Does that statistic surprise you? It sure surprised me. I didn’t get serious about being ready for home fires until a house in my neighborhood burnt to the ground. When that happened, I realized a home fire really could happen to my family and it would be devastating.
Fires are caused by a number of reasons. Cooking, electrical malfunctions, smoking, appliances, candles and children are the most common causes of home fires. You can take all the steps to prevent a house fire, but unfortunately it can still happen. That’s why you need a fire escape plan.
Your family’s plan should be a three-part plan:
1. Buy fire safety equipment.
Every home should have fire safety equipment, both to help detect a fire emergency and assist you in dealing with one. There’s a lot of gear out there but at the very least, make sure your home has the basics:
- smoke detectors
- fire extinguishers
- portable fire escape ladders (for multi-story homes)
- fire-resistant box or safe for important papers (or my favorite…ZquaredAway Fire-Resistant Protective Covers!)
2. Plan your escape.
According to the NFPA, once the smoke detector alarm sounds, you have as little as two minutes to get out of your house safely. Developing an escape plan now will help your family get out of the house quickly in the event of a real emergency. Get everyone involved in the planning. Even the kids. Now is the time to bounce ideas off of one another and ask questions.
Draw a floor plan of your home, including all the doors and window. Go room to room and figure out two ways to escape. Draw the routes on the map. Next, check all the windows and doors to make sure they open easily. Can your children open them without your assistance?
Then sit down together and review the plan. Where is the outside the home meeting place? Does everyone understand what they should do if there’s a fire? Talk to your little ones about how important it is not to hide from firemen. If there’s a chance they could be afraid of firefighters, call your local fire department and set up a meeting so your kids have the chance to see firement dressed in their full protective gear. Lastly, if there is a family member with a disability that would prevent him from escaping on his own, assign someone to help.
3. Practice your plan regularly.
If you’re thinking it can’t be hard to get out of the house, remember in a fire, your house can look very different when it’s filled with smoke. Plus, in any emergency situation, panic creeps in and tries to take over, making it difficult to stop and think.
At least twice a year conduct home fire drills. To help you remember to do it, schedule your drills in the spring and fall on the same days you change your clocks. Run your drills during the daytime and try to make them as real as possible. What would happen if one of the main exits was blocked? How about more than one? After each drill, hold a family meeting and discuss how it went. What worked? What should be done differently next time? As soon as you feel like everyone has a good handle on daytime drills, conduct nighttime drills.
Don’t put it off any longer. Get your plan together today. That way, you’ll be sure your family has the best possible chance of getting out of the house quickly in a fire emergency.
P.S. Be sure to check out the rest of the 30 Days of Preparedness series:
Thanks for joining the Prepared Bloggers as we work our way through 30 Days of Preparedness. September is National Preparedness Month so you will find everything you need to get your preparedness knowledge and skills into shape.
Take one post each day, learn as much as you can about the topic and make it a part of your preparedness plan.
Day 1 – Ready, Set, Get Prepared! Welcome to 30 Days of Preparedness from PreparednessMama
Day 2 – The Family Meeting Place and Escape from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 3 – I’m Safe! How to Communicate with Family in an Emergency from PreparednessMama
Day 4 – Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan? from Home Ready Home
Day 5 – Preparedness For Pets from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 6 – The Escape Exercise from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 7 – It all Falls Apart Without Mental Preparedness from PreparednessMama
Day 8 – It’s a Matter of Emergency Kits from A Matter of Preparedness
Day 9 – Nine Great Emergency Light Sources Other Than Flashlights from Food Storage & Survival
Day 10 – Cooking Without Power from Mama Kautz
Day 11 – The Importance of a Shelter & Staying Warm and Dry from Trayer Wilderness
Day 12 – The Importance of Having The Right Tools In Your Pack from Trayer Wilderness
Day 13 – Practice Living Without Electricity from Food Storage Made Easy
Day 14 – How We Choose The Right Gear – (including the MultiFlame Tool) from Trayer Wilderness
Day 15 – Water Storage & Purification from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 16 – Food and Water for a 72 Hour “Go Bag” from Homestead Dreamer
Day 17 – 8 Foods You Should Be Storing and How from Melissa K Norris
Day 18 – Planning Your Pantry from The Organic Prepper
Day 19 – Stocking Up on Non-Food Items from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 20 – Dutch Oven Cooking: Off-Grid Before Off-Grid Was Cool from The Backyard Pioneer
Day 21 – Pressure Canning the Harvest from Timber Creek Farm
Day 22 – Personal Protection & Awareness from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 23 – KISS First Aid from Herbal Prepper
Day 24 – Mommy, I have to go Potty! from Mom With a Prep
Day 25 – Fire Starting 101: The Why and How of Lighting a Fire for Survival from Food Storage & Survival
Day 26 – How to Filter and Purify Water from Prepared Housewives
Day 27 – How To Make A Shelter from Trayer Wilderness
Day 28 – Put Your Preps to the Test with 24 Hours Unplugged from The Organic Prepper
Day 29 – What Is Char and Why You Should Have It To Start A Fire from Trayer Wilderness
Day 30 – How To Utilize Bushcraft Skills and Forage From The Wild from Trayer Wilderness