Plan and practice fire escape strategies
National Fire Protection Association statistics show fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires annually. These fires caused 2,630 fire deaths and 10,600 fire injuries. On average, seven people died in a fire in a home per day. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out. Home fire escape planning and drills are an essential part of fire safety — practice fire drills before a tragedy occurs.
Home fire escape planning should include the following:
- Draw a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows;
- Go to each room and identify two ways out;
- Make sure someone will help children, older adults, and people with disabilities get out;
- Teach children how to escape on their own;
- Establish a meeting place outside and away from the home where everyone can meet, and
- Have properly installed and maintained smoke alarms.
When practicing home fire escape drills, include the following:
- Push the smoke alarm button to start the drill;
- Practice what to do in case there is smoke— Get low and go. Get out fast;
- Practice using different ways out and closing doors behind you;
- Never go back for people, pets, or things;
- Go to your outdoor meeting place; and
- Practice calling 9-1-1 from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone
Smoke alarms are critical to preventing a fire.
- Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages.
- Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death.
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
- Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
For more general information about fire prevention, visit fpw.org.
Anshi Asem designed this award-winning picture for the 2018 Fire Prevention Week Fire Safety Poster Contest held at Montgomery Elementary.
Charlotte McClain designed this poster for the 2018 Fire Prevention Week Fire Safety Poster Contest held at Montgomery Elementary.