October is National Fire Prevention Month. As every homeowner knows, having a plan in case of a house fire is a necessity. The American Red Cross found of the 80% of people who said everyone in their house knew what to do during a fire, only half of those respondents actually had a plan in place. If you need some help crafting your own fire escape plan, here are several tips to get you started.
First off, map out your house. Most emergency plans involve identifying two exits in case of emergency. Identify the two escape exits in every room. In most cases, this is the doors and the windows. Young children may need guidance, so take them around the house and identify exactly which doors or windows would make the best escape routes. Identify a good meeting place for your family to meet in case of a house fire. Pick a place that is a safe distance from the home and one that is easily visible to all emergency responders. Good examples are a tree or your mailbox.
Choose an adult to be in charge of those who may need help. If your home has young children or senior citizens, have one adult specifically in charge of evacuating those who need the extra help. A fire is a high stress situation and having someone who knows their role will help eliminate confusion. Explain to your kids the importance of staying low. Smoke inhalation can be just as dangerous as the actual fire. Staying low allows you to be below the smoke and avoid inhaling it as you escape. Teach your kids to crawl to safety exits and why this is necessary in case of a fire. Every level of your home should have at least one smoke alarm. Take the time to test them regularly. This is also a great opportunity to allow those in your home to know what it sounds like when your alarm goes off. This will allow them to recognize the sound and know what to do if it were to go off. Practice the plan you put into place. Send everyone to their rooms, sound the alarm, and time yourself to see if everyone can make it to your meeting place in under two minutes. For young children, find a way to incentivize them to exit safely and quickly. Fire safety is of the utmost importance for any responsible homeowner. Using these tips, take this month to craft your fire escape plan and rest assured that your family is safe in case of a disaster. Also, call us at Entrust Insurance to go over your homeowners insurance and be aware of your options in case of a fire or any other disaster that might happen at your home. Information is your greatest tool when it comes to protecting yourself, your family, and your finances!