Does your family have a fire escape plan? Better yet, have you ever practiced it?
After my daughter’s 2 year old check-up, I was reading through the instruction sheet they gave me on how to keep her alive and it recommended to practice a fire escape plan. My first thought was… what is our fire escape plan? Second… how do I practice a fire escape plan with a 2 year old. Third... do doctors even read the crap they give us?
I guess it doesn’t hurt, especially when it means keeping my family safe! We went ahead and put together our fire escape plan and recommend you do too!
More than 3,400 Americans die each year in fires, and approximately 17,500 are injured. Deaths resulting from failed emergency escapes are particularly avoidable.
In the event of a fire, remember – time is the biggest enemy and every second counts! Fire escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames. – USFA
What to Include in Your Fire Safety Kit:
Before mapping out your fire escape plan, you’ll want to make sure you have the gear you’ll need so you can practice using it and have it ready to go!
I was sent one of the Boltwell Fire Kits and absolutely love it! Their kits take the guesswork out of what you need to have in an emergency and it’s easy to adjust how many you need the kit for.
The Boltwell Fire Safety Kit Includes:
- Fire Safety Ladder
- Cold Fire Extinguisher
- Fire Emergency Masks (2)
- Non-Vented Safety Goggles (2)
- Whistle (2)
Other things to consider:
5 Things to Include in Your Fire Escape Plan:
1. Draw a Map of Your Home.
Draw a map of each level of your home. On your map make sure to show the following:
- All doors,windows, & smoke alarms.
- 2 ways to get out of each room. Check to make sure you can open all doors and windows easily.
- Mark a safe location to meet near the front of your home.
Make it fun and get your kids involved in helping make your family plan. They can design a fire escape plan and once they’re done you can review it with them and make any needed adjustments.
2. Have 2 Ways Out of Each Room.
When making your plan try and and have at least 2 ways out of each room. Also, make sure each person can open all the windows and doors.
Be sure to include what is needed to get out of the room located near the exits. For instance, if you have a ladder to get out of a 2nd story window don’t store it downstairs! Make sure it’s easily accessible for whomever might be getting it. In an emergency you need to act fast, because every second counts!
3. Know How to Keep Yourself Safe When Escaping!
There are multiple different scenarios that can happen when you’re trying to get out of your home, so make sure you and your family know how to handle them.
A few things to know and practice are:
- Crawling low to the floor to avoid toxic smoke.
- Closing doors on your way out to help slow the spread of fire, giving more time to safely escape.
- Stop, Drop, & Roll if clothes catch on fire.
- How to call 9-1-1 to get help.
If the fire prevents you from escaping, here are some tips…
- Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to help keep smoke from coming in.
- If possible, open your windows at the top and bottoms so fresh air can get in.
- Call for help, or if you don’t have a phone try using a whistle to alert neighbors.
- Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.
4. Get Out & Stay Out!
Designate a meeting location a safe distance in front of your home – like at the end of the driveway, on the sidewalk, or near a certain tree. You want it to be near the front of your home so the firefighters will know that you’re out.
Be sure to never go back into a burning building for any reason! If someone is missing tell the firefighters right away since they are equipped to perform rescues safely.
If you need further convincing you need to get out and stay out, this video can help you out! This song is extra cheesy, so therefore my kids absolutely loved it ;) It also helped lead into my fire safety speech I gave them!
5. Have a Fire Drill Twice a Year!
Fire drills aren’t just for schools, but for your home too!
It is recommended that you prepare and practice your fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in your household, including children. You want to teach your children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime to make sure you have everything you need to handle both situations. Plus, it really gives something for your neighbors to talk about ;)
If you’re super hardcore about safety – the NFPA recommends practicing your fire escape plan with overnight guests too. I’m sure my 93 year old Grandpa will love going down our fire escape ladder ;) And if you NEVER want to be invited over to someone’s house again, here’s some more of their advice…
When staying overnight at other people’s homes, ask about their fire escape plan. If they don’t have a plan in place, offer to help them make one. – NFPA
Actually, they might appreciate your help! Bonus points for you if you actually take this advice!
Ready for Your Fire Drill? Let’s go…
Start by pushing the smoke alarm button to begin, then go ahead and practice each of the steps in your fire escape plan:
• Practice using the different ways out of each room.
• Practice escaping safely using different scenarios.
• Get out and stay out.
• Meet at your designated spot in front of your home.
Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan?
Out of all the injuries I’ve had in my life, burning my arm was by far the worst. Every time I look at that scar I’m reminded of how unforgiving fires can be. Fire is definitely something NOT to be played with.
Fire spreads quickly and you don’t want to be stuck in it’s path. If you don’t have a fire escape plan already – make one, practice it, and then teach it to your family!
I appreciate Boltwell for sending my family a fire safety kit to test out! They really are amazing at helping people prepare with their very simple and easy to use pre-made emergency kits.
Make sure to check out all the kits they offer, but especially the B*451 Fire Safety Kit – you’ll sleep much better knowing you’re ready to escape in case there’s a fire!