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Creating A Fire Escape Plan for Your Family

Posted: February 21, 2014

It takes only 30 seconds for a small fire to grow out of control, so when an emergency strikes, you will need to act fast to prevent harm on yourself and your family.

By having an emergency plan prepared in advance, you can overcome potential challenges that emerge in the event of a fire. Consider these tips to develop your own escape route if a dangerous situation arises.   


Being ready

In times of crisis, your ability to process and determine how to act rationally may be delayed. Have a plan in motion beforehand.

Before a fire-related emergency occurs, pick an evening to devote to planning what you will do in the event of an incident with your loved ones.

According to Ready, a program launched by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2004, finding two possible exits from each room in your home is an effective part of an emergency preparedness plan.

In addition, purchasing collapsible ladders, testing windows to make sure they are not broken or jammed and finding a location outside the home where everyone will join in the event of a fire can reduce the impact of emergencies and disasters.

Assembling an emergency preparedness kit that includes bottled water, first aid materials, warm clothing and important documents like your birth certificate and social security card can help you overcome challenges immediately following an incident.


Developing an escape plan

If fire engulfs your home, your first instinct may to be panic. However, by following the emergency escape route that you've established beforehand, you can prevent serious problems from emerging.

If someone in your home is impacted by a disability, make a plan of escape that is accessible for him or her. If possible, also attempt to close any doors in the fire's path to delay its spread to other parts of the home.

In worst case scenarios, according to the National Fire Protection Association, seal yourself into one room if no other escape options are available. Using a towel, duct tape or another barrier, cover all cracks and air vents to keep smoke from invading the room. Waving a piece of cloth out of a window will let emergency responders know where you are.


Staying prepared

In addition to developing an escape plan, you should consider the benefits of investing in a home security system.

With an alarm installed in your home, you will be more aware of potential risks that may emerge. From early detection of smoke and fire to alerting you of an intruder, security alarms increase the security of your home.

For additional tips on how to protect your home in the event of a fire, reach out to emergency services in your area.