Fire escape: Practice your family's safety route
Always let a professional rescue your pets. Never go back inside to get them. Your pet needs you to be alive. | Joe Imel/AP
- Make a list of at least three things you should do when you hear the fire alarm go off.
- Set aside time with the family to discuss what you would do in a fire emergency and practice it. <
Fires can happen anywhere, and knowing what to do is the key to surviving a fire emergency.
When there's a fire inside your school or home, you need to get out immediately. Since smoke from a fire can make it difficult to see, it's important to know the best way to exit the building.
The best way to be prepared for a fire is to have a plan before it even happens. Your plan should include fire drills. A fire drill can help you practice leaving your building quickly and safely. You should also know at least two ways to get out.
Many schools practice fire drills during the course of the school year. The fire alarm goes off, students line up in an orderly fashion and teachers escort them safely out of the building. Often local fire departments are on hand to observe and provide instruction along the way.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, only 23 percent of households have planned and practiced a home fire escape plan. The majority of home fires occur when people are sleeping which emphasizes the importance of working smoke alarms.
It's important to know that just a small amount of planning can make a huge difference in case of an emergency. The following fire drill and escape plan tips apply to both home and work.
- Develop a fire escape plan which identifies two ways out of each room or work area.
- At home, install smoke alarms on every level and outside each sleeping area.
- Establish a meeting place outside.
- If smoke alarms or fire alarm systems activate, immediately proceed to the nearest exit, do not take time to collect personal belongings. If smoke is encountered, proceed to the secondary exit. If you must exit through smoke get low and under the smoke.
- Practice your escape plan or conduct a fire drill.
- Never go back inside!