According to the National Fire Protection Association, only one in every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47% of those have practiced it.
If a fire breaks out in your home, you may have only minutes to get out safely once a smoke alarm sounds. It is important to plan ahead! In case of fire, every member of your family needs to know what to do and where to go.
- MAKE a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home.
- KNOW at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.
- HAVE an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.
- PRACTICE your home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home, twice a year.
- PRACTICE using different ways out.
- TEACH children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- CLOSE doors behind you as you leave.
IF THE ALARM SOUNDS…
- If the smoke alarm sounds, GET OUT AND STAY OUT. Never go back inside for people or pets.
- If you have to escape through smoke, GET LOW AND GO under the smoke to your way out.
- CALL 911 from outside your home.
There are two important steps to take to help protect yourself and your family.
- Install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home.
- Have and follow a carefully thought out and practiced escape plan.
What to do if you are caught in an actual fire
- Do not panic
- Smoke and fumes are toxic. Remember to crawl low and quickly to safety.
- Touch all doors, with the back of your hand, to see if they are hot before you open them. If the door is hot, use an alternate escape path. If the door is cool, open it carefully. Be ready to close it quickly if you feel smoke or fire coming towards you. Remember to close the door behind you as you exit the room.
- If you can’t get out of the room, keep the door closed. Stuff blankets towels or sheets in any cracks or openings around the doors and heating or air conditioning ducts.
- If there is a phone, call 911 and tell them where you are. Use a bright cloth or flashlight to signal where abouts.
- Stop, Drop and Roll if your clothing catches on fire.