Nobody wants to think that they could experience a terrible fire, but sadly, many families are affected by fires each year. Data from the U.S. Fire Administration for 2019 show that there were more than 350,000 home fires, with over 2,500 fatalities, 12,500 injuries, and $7 billion in damages and property damage as a result*.
Once the smoke alarm rings, a fire can spread quickly through your house, giving you just one or two minutes to leave safely. A fire safety strategy is essential, as is being ready in advance for such an incident. However, only around 10% of families, says the Red Cross, have actually used their fire escape plan.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises installing smoke alarms on every level of the house, outside each individual sleeping area, and within each sleeping room. Make sure to routinely examine the batteries in your fire alarms. Visit our Help Center for assistance replacing the batteries in your ADT system. ADT strengthens the security of your fire safety strategy by keeping an eye out for fire signs and notifying you and the fire department right once if any are found.
Here are the 5 steps you can take to be prepared in the event of a fire emergency.
Make sure you and your family members are fully prepared for a fire. There is a lot better possibility of everyone making it out safely when everyone in the family is aware of the departure strategy. Families with kids should think about sketching a floor plan of their house and noting two exits from each room, including windows and doors. Mark the locations of all smoke alarms as well.
Explain to young children the risks associated with home fires and what to seek for in an emergency. Give them a hand in developing the escape strategy so they can see it. Teach all kids how to call 9-1-1 and request assistance.
2. Establish Roles
Decide who in your family will help an elderly person or an infant in an emergency if you have either of these people living in your home. Most kids older than three years old are able to identify the sound of a smoke alarm. To depart securely, they still require assistance from an adult or an older sibling. Established roles are especially crucial because it’s thought that only 1 in 5 households with children ages 3 to 17 have a fire safety plan.
Families with disabled members are more likely to have an evacuation plan, with 70% of them doing so. However, if one exit is closed, those with mobility issues can have problems finding an alternative route. A family member with a disability should have someone assigned to them in case of fire. In case the initial assignee is not at home during the emergency, appoint a backup person as well.
3. Identify all Exits
Determine which exits to use in an emergency, whether you live in an apartment or a single-family home. Every room ought to have two exits. Verify that doors and windows can be opened easily and that the escape routes are free of obstructions. If your home has security bars on windows or doors, ensure sure the bars have emergency release mechanisms inside so they may be opened right away. Make a floor plan for your children so they can understand the path.
Every family member, including youngsters, must be able to escape from the second floor rooms if your home has two storeys. You can construct another escape path by using escape ladders. You should thoroughly read the manufacturer’s instructions and practise using a safety ladder before an emergency arises.
Know your escape route and keep low if you reside in a high-rise complex or apartment building. Use the stairs only. Call your fire station and provide them your precise position if smoke or a fire prevents you from getting to the hallway. Close all of the doors around you, then seal them with duct tape, cloths, blankets, or whatever else you can find. If there is a window in the room, stay close to it and, if at all feasible, open it from top to bottom to let in some fresh air. If you need to close it again to keep outside smoke from entering the room, don’t break it. To let the fire department know you are there, shine a flashlight or wave a brightly coloured piece of clothing at the window.
4. Meeting Place
One of the most important fire safety recommendations is to pick a location outside your house where everyone should gather as soon as they’ve escaped. Have a primary meeting location and a backup location in case the primary location is unsafe. Your front walkway or a neighbor’s home are also suitable locations. Remember to make arrangements to meet as far from the fire as you can, and confirm with your family where to go. Stay outside once you’ve left. Never, ever enter a burning building again. If someone goes missing, alert ADT or the fire department dispatcher so that they can undertake a rescue with the right tools.
There is a good reason to believe that “practise makes perfect.” You’ll be more prepared if there is a fire emergency the more times you and your family practise the fire drill. You should practise your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the simulation as realistic as possible, advises the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Drills might reveal potential flaws in your escape strategy, allowing you to make the necessary adjustments.
Give them a chance to rehearse before conducting a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. It’s critical to test whether children and others can wake up quickly to the smoke alarm during the simulation. If they don’t wake up, designate someone to do so in case of a genuine emergency.
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