How To Preemptively Create a Fire Escape Plan
When an itty-bitty flame gets out of control, it can cause a massive and uncontrollable disaster within a matter of minutes. That being said, a well-designed fire escape plan plays a critical role in case of an emergency.
Don’t have one? Never fear — Stealth Angel Survival is here to the rescue!
Read on to learn everything you need to know to preemptively create a fire escape plan.
Everything You Need To Know About Creating a Fire Escape Plan
You know all about stop, drop and roll. You replace the batteries in your smoke alarms at least twice a year and know how to call 9-1-1. But do you have a fire escape plan? Probably not — but don’t feel ashamed; according to the American Red Cross, only 26 percent of families have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
Why don’t very many families have a home fire escape plan, you ask? Well, some people just don’t like thinking about the possibility of a disaster and try to avoid them at all-cause, including not preparing for them. This, of course, is a grave mistake.
Another issue lies in the fact that many folks believe that they have more time to gather their loved ones and get out if there’s a fire. But this is another mistake as you really may only have two minutes or less to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds.
You need a home escape plan for many reasons, such as:
- Working smoke alarms and a solid home fire escape plan can reduce your risk of injury or death.
- Most fatal fires happen in homes.
- Fires double in size every single minute.
- When a fire strikes, you may have less than one to two minutes to get out.
- Fires produce heat, smoke, and toxic gases.
- Fires create thick, black, choking smoke, which can make it nearly impossible to see or breathe.
Needless to say, a fire escape plan can make all the difference between life and death.
So, without further ado, here’s how to create a fire escape plan:
Step #1: First Things First. Make Sure You Have all the Right Equipment
Regardless of how annoying they can be when you accidentally overcook your chicken or burn popcorn (just us?), smoke detectors are so undeniably important. The sooner you’re aware of a fire, the more likely it is that you and your loved ones can safely escape.
At a minimum, make sure you have fully operational smoke alarms in every bedroom, but ideally, you should have multiple smoke alarms on each level of your home — including hallways and especially your kitchen. And whatever you do, don’t forget to change the batteries twice a year. Your smoke detectors are pointless if they don’t work!
In addition to smoke alarms, if your home has two floors, it’s wise to install an escape ladder to make sure that everyone can escape safely from the second-floor rooms in the event of a fire.
Step #2: Identify Your Exits, Choose A Meeting Spot, Draw Up Your Fire Escape Plan
When creating your fire escape plan, every member of the household should be involved. Walk through your home and make sure everyone can identify at least two ways out in each room, including windows and doors.
If you have little ones, you also need to explain very clearly that it’s very possible that they may have to exit by themselves. Let them know not to come looking for you, especially if their door feels hot or if they see smoke. Teach them how to escape safely and to do it all on their own — this is very important.
In addition, you will also need to let your loved ones know where to meet up outside the house once they’ve escaped. Pick a safe spot far enough away from your house that’s out of harm’s way but close enough that your kiddos would be comfortable walking there by themselves. A couple of good choices could include a neighbor’s house or a stop sign.
Finally, draw out the basic floor plan of your home with doors, windows, and any other exits included. This should be crystal clear so that everyone in the household can easily understand it — including small children.
Step #3: Practice Makes Perfect
Chances are you’ve heard the saying, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” Well, this couldn’t be more true when it comes down to safety.
When you create a fire escape plan, don’t just tape it up on the wall and forget about it — the “Set it and forget it” rule does not apply here. You and your loved ones need to physically put the plan into action and practice it at least twice a year.
Here are a few other guidelines to follow:
- Practice the fire escape plan at night, which is when most fatal home fires start.
- Have everyone in the household practice feeling their way out of the house with their eyes closed to simulate escaping through thick smoke and darkness.
- Any time a family member has a change in their health or when there’s a temporary or permanent change to your household, revise your home fire escape plan.
Additional Fire Escape Plan Tips
Here are three additional tips that can help you create a fire escape plan:
Tip #1: Plan For Everyone
When putting together your fire escape plan, it’s really important to take into account the special needs of everyone in your household, including elderly family members who may not be very mobile. If grandma is in a wheelchair — you need to plan for that!
Tip #2: Teach Everyone the Emergency Number
Teach everyone how and when to call 9-1-1. Instruct your children that 9-1-1 is the only number they should call when there is an emergency like a house fire. However, they should only call after they’ve escaped and are safe.
Do not attempt to call for help from inside your home during a house fire, as it is much more important that you use every single second possible to get to safety.
Tip #3: Have a Survival Kit Ready To Go
While it’s not always possible to know when an emergency might strike, it is possible to be prepared for one. And one of the best ways to be prepared is by keeping a survival kit in an easy-to-grab location.
A survival kit like our Stealth Angel Survival Kit is jam-packed with a wide array of survival tools plus a field-grade first aid kit. With 36 first aid supplies, this medic bag bursts at the seams with everything from tools like fire-starters and glass breakers to bandages, compresses, swabs, and more. If you have pets, a dog survival kit and a cat survival kit are also useful to have.
In the event of a fire, fast first aid can make all the difference if someone were to become injured. Make sure each family member has a survival kit in their bedroom that can easily be grabbed when escaping. It’s also a good idea to stash a few around the house — just in case.
Ready in a Hot Minute
And there you have it —everything you need to know to preemptively create a fire escape plan!
A fire can spread unbelievably fast through your home, leaving you and your loved ones as little as one to two minutes to safely escape once the alarm sounds. Pull everyone in the household together and make a solid fire escape plan before it’s too late. Don’t fall victim to thinking a house fire can never happen to you because it can, and when it does, being prepared can make all the difference in not only your safety but your loved ones.
With a smart and well-thought-out plan in place, you can be a step ahead of the unexpected when you really may not have the time or ability to calmly think things through.
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Backed by a world-class customer support team that is with you every step of the way, whether you’re putting together a fire escape plan or looking for the best fire starters on the planet, we are here and ready to assist you with all of your needs, whatever they may be.
How to make a home fire escape plan | National Fire Protection Association
Create and Practice a Home Escape Plan | Mass.gov