Every home should have a structured plan in the event of a fire emergency. Below are steps to putting an emergency escape plan together with your family. Also, remember that is important to teach your children about fire safety.
Get everyone together in your household and make a fire safety plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Homes with children should consider drawing a floor plan, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of every smoke alarm.
Smoke alarms have a big impact on home fire safety. Be sure to install smoke alarms in every room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
It is important that everyone in the household understands the escape plan. When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily in the case of a fire emergency.
Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, mailbox, or stop sign) that is a safe distance from your home where everyone can meet after they have followed the emergency escape plan. Be sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your emergency escape plan.
In support of fire safety in the home, it's important to anybody in the residence with mobility limitations, such as; infants, older adults, or family members. Be sure to assign someone to assist them in the event of a fire emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the person assigned is not home during the fire emergency.
If windows and doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately should a fire emergency occur. Having emergency release devices won't compromise your security. They will only increase your chances of safely escaping which is the main goal of a fire safety plan.
Be fully prepared for a real fire when a smoke alarm sounds during a home fire emergency and get out immediately. Residents of high-rise and apartment buildings may be safer "defending in place" (relocating occupants to a safer location on the same floor rather then being evacuated).
Once you're out of the home and away from the fire emergency source, STAY OUT! Under no circumstances should you go back into a burning building. If someone is still missing, inform a department dispatcher when you call or a fire fighter. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.
Do you know how to get out when there is a home fire emergency? A home fire exit strategy is critical. Your home fire exit strategy will need to be enforced by you and your loved ones in a fire emergency. It is important to have two different ways to escape a burning building as one may become blocked. For more information please contact Texas State Fire Marshal.