Fires can spread quickly throughout a house, and you could be left with only a few minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm goes off. Being prepared with a fire escape plan can make all the difference, especially when you and your family have practiced it over and over. According to Ready.gov, 71% of Americans have a fire escape plan, but only 47% have actually rehearsed it.
Practicing good fire safety precautions to prevent fires at home is crucial, and having a fire escape plan is an important part of being prepared. Learn how you can start a simple house evacuation plan with these tips.
1. Sketch a Floor Plan of Your Home
Creating a map of your home can help you identify at least two ways out of each room. This includes windows and doors. Draw a fire escape plan and review the floor plan with your household, so everyone knows the fastest and safest routes out of the house from various points of your home.
2. Choose a Meeting Spot
In an emergency, things can get hectic fast. Designate a safe place — like a tree or mailbox — far enough away from danger where your family members can safely gather.
3. Practice Your Escape Plan
Don’t overestimate how much time you have to exit your home in the event of a fire. According to Ready.gov, in as little as two minutes a fire can become a life-threatening situation, and in five minutes a home could be overcome with flames. Be sure your plan gets you and your family out of your home as quickly as possible.
The best way to do this? Practice your escape routes, and time them with a stopwatch, with your family at least twice a year so everyone is well-informed and prepared.
What Should Be Included in a Fire Escape Plan
- Identify two ways out of every room.
- Check windows to ensure they work properly and screens can be removed quickly.
- Practice the plan in the dark. A fire escape plan may be different at night versus during the day.
- Talk with children about not hiding from emergency responders.
- Practice crawling low to the floor to stay under smoke.
- Create a copy of your plan and keeping copies in known locations around your home
- Test smoke detectors/alarms often.
Creating a fire escape plan is an important way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Talk with your Farm Bureau agent today to be sure your insurance coverage is also helping you stay as prepared as possible should the worst happen.