Home Fire Evacuation Plan
Fires are one of the most dangerous events you can encounter in your home. If a fire breaks out, it is important that you know how to escape and have safety strategies in place.
Escape routes and safety strategies
Escape routes are the paths you should take if a fire occurs. Here are some tips for choosing the best escape route. The safest place to be during a fire is outside, away from your home. If you're inside, stay on the lowest floor possible. Don't use elevators that could become trapped by rising heat and smoke or power outages caused by an electrical fire nearby. If you have children or pets, make sure they know how important it is to follow these rules as well.
Family meeting place
Your family meeting place should be a location where everyone can meet up after the fire and stay together. This is usually a safe location in your neighborhood, away from the fire. The meeting place should also be easily accessible by everyone, especially those with mobility issues.
Your family meeting place should be visible to you at all times and should not change unless you rotate it or make changes to your evacuation plan. It may be helpful to have an additional visual marker (like an object) that's easy for others outside your home to see in case they're not familiar with your community or neighborhood.
Plan and practice your escape route
Once you have a plan in place for your escape route, mark the route with signs and tape, and practice it regularly, especially with children. Keep the route clear of clutter, furniture, appliances and anything else that would obstruct your path to safety. Make sure to change anything as you extend your family or any changes are made to the home.
Make yourself heard
There are many ways to make yourself heard, so you’ll want to select the method that works best for your home. If you don’t have an alarm system or smoke detector, consider having one installed.
If you do have a fire alarm, use it by sounding it loudly with the pull string or button on the unit. The sound of an alarm will alert people who are sleeping and disoriented but may not necessarily be able to hear someone shouting from another part of the house.
If you have a smoke detector installed in your home, follow its instructions. Ensure you keep the smoke detectors tested to ensure they are working in case of a fire.
Have a family meeting place
When a fire breaks out, it's critical that you and your family get to a safe place as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to have a meeting place outside where everyone can meet up if they are separated. Ideally, the meeting place should be outdoors and not far from the house—but it should also be free of other dangers like downed power lines or trees that could fall on top of you.
If possible, try to pick an area that has good visibility so you can see each other from afar if needed. It's also important that there aren't any obstacles between your house and the meeting place, such as bushes or fences between them (if so, consider clearing some space around those areas). Finally, make sure everyone knows how long it'll take for them to get there in case something happens along their route!
Recovery after a fire
Recovery after a fire is an important part of the process. Have a plan for what to do with your pets, valuables, and personal belongings. Consider storing items that are especially precious or valuable in a safe place outside of your home. If you have access to an off-site storage facility or other secure location that's not connected to the internet (and thus less likely to be compromised), this can help give you peace of mind and reduce anxiety during recovery efforts.
Fires are serious threats to your home and family. They spread quickly and can cause extensive damage, even death if you don't escape in time. The best way to minimize the damage a fire cause is by planning ahead and having an evacuation plan in place. A well-thought-out evacuation plan can help you keep yourself and your family safe, as well as save your home from burning down entirely.