A Family that practices together, escapes together! In the event of a fire, all members of your family must react immediately if they are to have the best chance to escape unharmed. Preparing, and practicing, a Family Escape Plan will assure that all members of your family know what to do if ever faced with a fire within the home.
Make sure everyone in the household can unlock all doors and windows quickly, even in the dark. Windows or doors with security bars need to be equipped with quick-release devices and everyone in the household should know how to use them. If you live in a two story house, and you must escape from a second story window, be sure there is a safe way to reach the ground. Make special arrangements for children, older adults and people with disabilities. People who have difficulty moving should have a phone in their sleeping area and, if possible, should sleep on the ground floor
In case of fire, do not stop for anything. Do not try to rescue possessions or pets. Go directly to your meeting place and then call the fire department from a neighbor’s phone. Every member of your household should know how to call the fire department. Crawl low under smoke, smoke contains deadly gases and heat rises. During a fire, cleaner air will be near the floor. If you encounter smoke when using your primary exit, use your alternate escape plan. If you must exit through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees keeping your head 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm) above the floor.
Once you are out of your home, do not go back for any reason. If people are trapped, firefighters have the best chance of rescuing them. The heat and smoke of a fire are overpowering. Firefighters have the training, experience and protective equipment needed to enter burning buildings
The best Family Escape Plan will mean very little if it’s not practiced! Together as a family, you should practice escaping from a fire at least twice a year. Practice your escapes from all rooms of the house. At the same time, you should be practicing Fire Safety Basics, going over the concepts of fire safety, including staying low when there’s smoke, getting out quickly, and once outside, staying outside.