A fire escape plan is essential if you are to survive a fire in your home. The plan, when practiced, will help you to react rationally when confronted by a fire emergency. This is very important if the fire occurs during the night.
Certain factors must be considered when developing your own fire escape plan. Firstly, what type of dwelling do you live in? Is it a house or an apartment? Think about the location of bedrooms and their proximity to exits. Are the bedrooms on the first floor and easy to exit from? Or are they on the second floor with two ways out? Or are they on the third floor or higher with no convenient second exit? How about the physical abilities of the residents in relation to where they sleep? Are they active and mobile or physically challenged or unable to walk?
Regardless of how familiar you are with your home, draw a floor plan. Include all doors and windows that could be used as a second means of escape. Include outside features, such as adjoining roof areas, balconies or porch roofs, which could be used in case of fire. Again, recognize the limitations of the people within each room.
Know two ways out of each room in case your main exit becomes blocked with smoke. Ensure that secondary escape routes are accessible and that the occupants are physically capable of using it. If windows are to be used for escape, you must make sure that they will open easily.
Establish a meeting place away from the building so that all members of the family can be accounted for. Arrange with a neighbor to use their telephone to call 911. In this way every person in your home will know what to do if and when fire strikes.
Each of us must prepare ourselves in case a fire occurs in our home. It is advisable for older adults to have telephones in their sleeping areas. Eyeglasses and other appliances, such as hearing aids, should be kept on the night table when you go to bed. All necessary medication should be close at hand as well. If you use a wheelchair, walker or cane to move about, then these items should be kept close at hand.
Develop and Practice a Fire Escape Plan
Draw a floor plan of your home showing all possible exits from each room
Where possible, plan two exits - a main route and an alternate exit route from each room
Make certain that everyone understands that if they hear the smoke alarm, or someone
shouting "FIRE", they should immediately evacuate the home
Designate a meeting place outside your home in the event of fire
If you live in an apartment building, develop your escape plan taking into
account fire escape procedures provided by the building management
Make sure your baby-sitter understands your fire escape plan