Fire Emergency Action Plan: Create a Plan During National Fire Prevention Week

This week is National Fire Prevention Week, a fact made ever more poignant after reading about the devastating fires in Northern California. The fires engulfed homes so quickly that most people had no time to grab the essentials, let along any family treasures.  Worse than that, though, is that so many people perished in the fires.

That’s why we can’t stress enough how important it is to have a fire emergency plan in place. Follow these tips to create a plan that helps protect your family before a bad situation occurs when you least expect it.

Install safety equipment

Installing a fire alarm system in your home can make all the difference in protecting your family if a fire breaks out. Learn more about the custom designed fire alarm systems Froula offers. At the least, install smoke detectors in all bedrooms, outside of each sleeping area and on each level of your home, preferably interconnected detectors that can be monitored via a smartphone app.  Add fire extinguishers, especially near your kitchen and in the garage. Click here to read our blog post about selecting, locating and inspecting fire extinguishers.

Test smoke alarms regularly

A great time to test your smoke detectors is in the fall and spring when you change the clocks for daylight savings time. Regularly replace smoke detectors since they only last 10 years or so.

Make a written plan.

A written plan gives you something to share with other family members so everyone knows what to do. It doesn’t take long to make a fire escape plan. Follow these steps:

1.     Create a drawing of your home that shows each room.

2.     Determine two ways out of each room in your home.  Make sure each door and window opens easily for all members of your house, especially children. If you have security bars on windows or doors, make sure each member of your family knows how to use the emergency release devices.

3.     Assign a member of your family to help small children, family members with mobility limitations or older adults to escape. Don’t forget to include your pets in the plan. Click here to read our blog post about including pets in your home fire evacuation plan.

4.     Set up a specific place where everyone will meet after they escape. The location should be in front of your house, such as at the mailbox, at a neighbor’s house, at the end of the driveway or at a large tree.

5.     Write down the emergency number to call so each family member knows how to call for help once they’re safe.

Practice your escape

Your fire escape plan is only good if everyone knows how to use it. That means periodically walking your family through the plan. We recommend practicing your plan at least once or twice a year.  Run through the plan with your entire family during the day and also at night.  

Finally, stress that once a person escapes from the burning home that it’s critical that they do not go back in to help family members or pets that are missing. Explain how important it is to let firefighters handle the rescue since they have the equipment and expertise.