Fire Escape Plan For Your Home
Have you prepared a home fire escape plan? The last thing most of us expect in the safety of our own homes is a house fire. Despite your best prevention efforts, including having things like smoke alarms, escape ladders, and sprinkler systems in place, a house fire may still occur.
That’s why it’s important to consider other fire hazards that might be present in your home. At SCDVC, we have a great reputation for improving your home’s fire safety with our excellent dryer vent cleaning services.
Fires can spread quickly, especially at night while you are sleeping, and because a closed bedroom door can conceal smoke and heat, you may only have seconds to react by the time you notice the fire.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Plan and practice your escape strategy to ensure you and your family have the best chance to evacuate your house safely in the event of a fire.
According to a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) survey, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a fire escape plan for the home. There is no specific way that a fire escape plan must look, but there are some similarities for all homes and buildings.
Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. By planning and practicing your escape plan, you can increase your family’s preparedness, enabling them to react more quickly and safely in the event of a fire. These tips can help you create a house fire evacuation plan:
Home Fire Escape Plan Step 1: Draw a map of your home and show all doors and windows
Gather all family members to create a fire escape plan for your home. Mark two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
If fire or smoke blocks your primary exit, you will need a second way out. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.
If you live in a two-story house, consider whether you will escape through a window, roof or balcony, and if you need a portable fire escape ladder.
Home Fire Escape Plan Step 2: Clear your escape routes
When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily. Items that block doors and windows in your home could keep you from escaping in the event of a home fire. Eliminate clutter on stairs and in hallways.
All windows and doors should open easily. If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside, so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Emergency release devices won't compromise your security, but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.
Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find. 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 emergency personnel can find your home.
Home Fire Escape Plan Step 3: Have the right equipment for a home fire emergency
Check that smoke detectors are properly placed and working. The NFPA recommends installing them in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping room, and on every level of the home. Make sure you have working fire extinguishers and consider upgrading your home’s fire protection by adding improvements such as an internal sprinkler system.
Many people believe that home sprinkler systems are costly, messy, and unattractive; however, modern sprinkler systems:
Discharge water only in the immediate area of the fire;
Can put out most home fires before the fire department arrives;
Increase the total building costs for a new construction by only 1 to 1.5%; and
May earn the homeowner an insurance premium discount.
Home Fire Escape Plan Step 4: Pick a meeting place outside that should be in front of your
Decide on a meeting place outside, such as a neighbor’s house, tree, light pole, mailbox or stop sign after you've escaped. It should be in the front of the house so emergency responders can see you when they arrive. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
Once you get outside, stay outside. Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.
Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
Teach everyone in your home how and when to use 911. Instruct children that 911 is the only number they should call when there is an emergency. It’s also important to teach children that 911 is for emergencies only and should never be prank called.
911 operators track the location of all incoming phone calls and will automatically route police officers to the location of the call. Emergencies that require 911 include but are not limited to:
Car accidents with life threatening injuries
Burglary or suspicious activity
Home Fire Escape Plan Step 5: Talk about your plan with everyone in your home
Put your escape plan in writing and share it with everyone who stays in your home. Go over the plan with everyone who lives in the house and with visitors and overnight guests.
Home Fire Escape Plan Step 6: Practice your home fire escape drill
While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 45% of those have practiced it.
Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home and practice using different ways out. Take into account the special needs of everyone in your household, including young children and elderly family members who may not be very mobile.
Children don’t always wake when a smoke alarm sounds. Make sure someone is assigned to help them and choose a backup person in case the assigned person is away at the time of the fire.
Smoke from a fire is toxic and deadly no matter what kind of structure you live in. When you hold your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to the exit.
It is usually easier to get out of a ground floor room, especially for people who have physical restrictions that may limit their ability to escape. For those with mobility concerns, consider locating their sleeping quarters on the ground floor to help make their evacuation easier in an emergency.
Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
Home Fire Escape Plan: Highrise Building Considerations
Escaping a fire from a high-rise building poses a different set of challenges. Always check to see what the emergency escape plan is for the building you’re in. A diagram should be posted in every hallway along with clearly marked exits.
If you’re going to be staying in the building for the long-term, ask a building supervisor to walk you and your family through the escape plan and always participate in the building’s emergency escape drills.
Never use the elevator
In case of fire, always use the stairs to get out, never the elevator. Make sure to practice using the stairs as part of your escape plan. If someone in your family has difficulty climbing down steps, make sure to incorporate a contingency for this into your plan.
Seal yourself in for safety
If you can’t exit an apartment building due to smoke or fire in the hallway, 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. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.
House fire safety comes down to preventing, planning and practicing. With a smart and well thought-out fire escape plan for your home in place, you can be one step ahead of the unexpected when you may not have the time or ability to think things through.
The most important place where you need to have a fire escape plan is your home, especially if you have young children. You should devise a plan, discuss it with your family, and practice a fire drill at least once every two months.
A dryer is one of the most used home appliances in the United States. Every day is a laundry day, especially if you have kids. However, most people don’t know that dryers can be fire hazards in their homes.
According to the Fire Administration, 2,900 home fires are reported every year, and most of them come from clothes dryers. Yipes! These fires cause an estimated property loss of 35 million, five deaths, and about 100 serious injuries each year.
Unsurprisingly, the leading cause of these fires, at 34%, is the failure to clean dryer vents. Whether you use an electric or gas clothes dryer, you will have lint. Lint builds up in the lint trap, as well as inside the dryer vent and ductwork, reducing airflow and drying efficiency.
But most importantly: Lint is combustible. Lint causes fires. Dryer lint gets everywhere, in all the nooks and crannies of your dryer vent system. Lint collects in the housing, the traps, the vent, and even places in your dryer where you can’t see or reach it and where it is the most flammable.
For dryer vent cleaning contact SCDVC dryer vent cleaning service at 951-290-3105. We can help you to thoroughly remove all the dust and lint from all the corners and recesses of your system. We have the necessary tools and experience to get the job done right.
Tags: Home Fire Escape Plan, creating a home fire escape plan, how to escape a fire at home, fire evacuation plan