Fires are one of the biggest home dangers, yet according to the National Fire Protection Association, only one of every three American households has actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. When a fire happens, having a plan in place that everyone can follow is crucial to getting out safely.
What can you do to make sure your family is prepared for a house fire?
Create a map of your house
Point out all possible escape routes from each room. Involve your children in finding the escape spots.
Pick a meeting spot outside
Find a spot a safe distance from the house where everyone can meet if a fire breaks out — a neighbor’s front porch, tree, or light post.
Invest in fire escape ladders
Each bedroom that is not on the ground floor should have an emergency ladder that can be used to escape out of the window(s). They are inexpensive and can easily be purchased online. While you are shopping, pick up a smoke detector for each bedroom. According to Kids Health® from Nemours, having a smoke alarm in the house cuts your risk of dying in a fire in half.
Run through the plan twice a year, both day and night. Practice different escape routes. Teach young children how to get out on their own. Don’t forget to make a special plan for anyone who may not be able to get out on their own. During the practice drills, don’t forget to show your children how to get down on all fours and crawl under the smoke.
Make it a game
During your practice drills, set a timer and everyone who gets out in less than two minutes gets ice cream for dinner (or whatever will motivate your family)!
Get out fast
Explain to children that they are NOT to go looking for a pet or special toy. Those can all be replaced, but they cannot be replaced!
Taking just a few minutes to come up with a fire escape plan and practice it could be a lifesaver for your family someday! For extra credit, visit your local fire station so your children can meet some firefighters who can share more fire safety tips with them and also help curb any fears they may have.