A fire escape plan is essential if you are to survive a fire in your home. The plan, when practiced, will help you to react rationally when confronted by a fire emergency. This is very important if the fire occurs during the night.
Certain factors must be considered when developing your own fire escape plan. Firstly, what type of dwelling do you live in? Is it a house or a an apartment? Think about the location of bedrooms and their proximity to exits. Are the bedrooms on the first floor and easy to exit from? Or are they on the second floor with two ways out? Or are they on the third floor or higher with no convenient second exit? How about the physical abilities of the residents in relation to where they sleep? Are they active and mobile or physically challenged or unable to walk?
Regardless of how familiar you are with your home, draw a floor plan. Include all doors and windows that could be used as a second means of escape. Include outside features, such as adjoining roof areas, balconies or porch roofs, which could be used in case of fire. Again, recognize the limitations of the people within each room.
Know two ways out of each room in case your main exit becomes blocked with smoke. Ensure that secondary escape routes are accessible and that the occupants are physically capable of using it. If windows are to be used for escape, you must make sure that they will open easily.
Establish a meeting place away from the building so that all members of the family can be accounted for. Arrange with a neighbor to use their telephone to call the fire department. In this way every person in your home will know what to do if and when fire strikes.
Each of us must prepare ourselves in case a fire occurs in our home. Emergency phone numbers for the fire department, police and ambulance should be kept handy to the phone for quick reference in an emergency. It is advisable for older adults to have telephones in their sleeping areas. Eyeglasses and other appliances, such as hearing aids, should be kept on the night table when you go to bed. All necessary medication should be close at hand as well. If you use a wheelchair, walker or cane to move about, then these items should be kept close at hand.
At home and work
Develop and Practice A Fire Escape Plan Draw a floor plan of your home showing all possible exits from each room. Where possible, plan two exits - a main route and an alternate exit route from each room. Make certain that everyone understands that if they hear the smoke alarm, or someone shouting "FIRE", they should immediately evacuate the home. Designate a meeting place outside your home in the event of fire. If you live in an apartment building, develop your escape plan taking into account fire escape procedures provided by the building management. Make sure your baby-sitter understands your fire escape plan. Practice Your Escape Plan - Regular practice is essential so that every family member knows what to do. If anyone in your home is unable to evacuate without assistance, assign someone to assist them. Ensure that everyone in your home knows NOT TO RE-ENTER. Call the Fire Department from a neighbor’s home.
Do You Know... Your Fire Department Emergency number? Your fire escape plan? Your designated meeting place in the event of a fire? Who is your floor fire emergency officer? The location of the nearest fire extinguisher? The location of the nearest fire alarm station? The location of the nearest two exits? Who needs assistance in the event of an emergency
If You Don't Know, Find Out Now!
Mobility-impaired? Have you informed your floor fire emergency officer? Read your posted fire emergency instructions! Report all fire hazards! When the fire alarm sounds - notify the Fire Department.