Does Your Home Have an Evacuation Plan?
Does your family have a planned evacuation route in case of a fire? According to the National Fire Prevention Association, there were 2,380 civilian deaths caused by an estimated 365,000 home structure fires in 2012. Damage caused by fires can range from a few burnt walls to an entire house gone up in smoke, so you should create a plan to make sure your family is prepared if a fire should start.
To begin planning, check your fire alarms to make sure they are in working order, and make notes on the calendars to perform routine tests and change the batteries. You should know where every possible exit is in your home and have at least two ways out of every room. Bars and locks on windows should have emergency release devices to they can easily open during an emergency. You should also make sure that no furniture or toys are blocking any possible exits. Having a drawn floor plan of your house is also helpful, especially in homes with younger children.
Post your plan where family members and guests can see it, and be sure everyone in the house knows all the exit routes.
Practice Your Evacuation Plan
Practicing the plan is essential to making sure everyone has a clear idea of how to get outside during a fire. You can set up different scenarios or instruct your family to take a certain route out of the house to prepare for different situations. Having your children navigate their way out of the house without your help might also be useful in case you get separated during the commotion. If you live in a two-story home, every member of the family needs to be able to escape from the second story. Escape ladders can be placed underneath or next to windows, and if your plan involves a fire escape or balcony, make sure the structure can support the weight of your entire family.
When it comes to practicing your evacuation route, try preparing for different types of fires at different times of the day. Evacuating during the middle of the night, for example, will require a little more coordination than evacuating during the day.
Memorize Your Surroundings
Your family should agree on a meeting place in your neighborhood ahead of time, and practice evacuating the home at least twice a year. Making yourself and your children familiar with street signs and local landmarks is also helpful if a little one gets lost or forgets where the meeting place is.
Another reason you should check your street signs is to make sure the fire department has a clear understanding of where your home is. If your street sign is damaged or the numbers on your house aren’t visible, the firemen may not know where to go.
What to Do After a Fire
If you experience fire damage in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, know that you can always count on the experts at Tri State Restorations to help you recover your space. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your convenience and can be on site within 90 minutes to mitigate the damage. Contact us at 866-818-1949.