If disaster strikes, being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. In the event of a fire, being prepared means having escape routes mapped out. It's important to have escape routes mapped out for each member of the family and from each bedroom and area of the home. Go over the escape routes as a family and keep them posted for reference. Decide on a meeting place to meet up with family members once outside of the house.
Things You'll Need
- Fire safe
- Poster board
- Stickers with pet and child information
- Fire escape ladder
Draw the layout of your home or apartment on a piece of paper.
Mark out two exit paths from each room. For example, one exit route might be out the window and the other one out through the front door. If you live in a home with second floor bedrooms, consider investing in a fire escape ladder and teaching family members how to use it. Otherwise, instruct family members to try the door first and to open the window and wait for authorities or to use the fire escape ladder.
Walk through the routes to make sure that each escape route is navigable and no windows are stuck shut that are part of the route. Change the routes if a window or door is blocked, or fix the exit. Assign responsibility for getting pets out to a family member, preferably an adult or older child. Place stickers on windows stating how many pets and children live in the house. Stickers are available from local fire departments. Keep a fireproof safe with important documents in an easily accessible place. Assign an adult to grab the safe in the event of fire.
Draw a new picture of the house and update all the escape routes. Copy the escape routes and give one to each family member to practice. Keep the escape routes posted on a bulletin board or side of the refrigerator. Draw a large picture of the escape routes on a poster board with markers. Trace the escape route out with your finger to show younger children.
Practice escaping through the drawn out routes and meeting at a safe place outside. That may include a designated tree far enough from the house or at a trusted neighbor's front door.
Tips & Warnings
- In the event of a fire, touch doors to see if they are hot to the touch. If they are, do not open the door.
- Leave your home immediately if a fire breaks out and call 9-1-1.
- Photo Credit fire image by Fotocie from Fotolia.com
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