The following are recommendations for developing a Home Safety Plan. Each home has a variety of unique characteristics that require each homeowner to develop a plan best suited for his or her family and home.
Things to consider when developing your Home Safety Plan:
- Hold a family meeting and try to make it fun while still ensuring that everyone understands what to do in an emergency.
- Discuss dialing 911 in an emergency situation. Practice staying calm and providing the correct information.
- Make sure everyone understands to get out of the house immediately.
- Determine the closest exit route for each room.
- Discuss and review alternate escape routes in all rooms.
- Determine a meeting place outside the home.
- Install an adequate amount of smoke detectors and regularly test them.
- Allow everyone to hear the sound of the smoke detector alarm to familiarize them with the sound.
- Practice the plan: set off the smoke detector and have everyone practice their escape routes.
- Determine how often your family will review and practice the plan. Semi-annual practice is recommended.
- Install fire department window identifiers for children’s rooms.
- Install approved type ABC fire extinguishers on every floor of the house and educate everyone on the proper operation.
- Locked doors can be tough to unlock in a smoke-filled room. Be sure to install door locks that can be easily unlocked in an emergency. Doors that require a key to exit may be trouble during a fire.
- Make sure each member of the family practices unlocking the door.
- Stay low: heat and smoke rise to the top of the room.
- Learn and practice the stop, drop, and roll method.
- For multi-story homes, a fire escape chain or rope ladder is recommended with sufficient training.
Keep adding to your Home Safety Plan and practice it often!