Your ability to keep your house safe and get out in the event of a fire depends on advance planning and warning from smoke alarms. Fire tends to easily spread through your home in no time, leaving you totally confused about how to save your house from fire and escape unharmed.
A closed-door slows down the spread of smoke, fire, and heat. You need to install smoke alarms at every level of your property and outside each sleeping area. Also, walk through your home and inspect all escape routes and exits. In households with children, one must draw a floor plan of the house and mark two ways out of each room, including doors and windows.
Here are some easy plans and tips for escaping a house fire
- Pull together everyone in your house while making a plan. Walk through your house and inspect all areas.
- When making a plan, check that all the escape routes are clear, and doors and windows can be opened easily.
- Choose a meeting place which is at a safe distance from your home to check if everyone is safe and has escaped.
- Have every family member memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. This way any family member can call out for help to extinguish a fire.
- If there are infants, elder people, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill in case of an emergency.
- If windows or doors have security bars, make sure the bars can be easily released during emergency situations. Emergency release devices won’t compromise your security but enhance your chances of safely escaping home during a fire.
- Be fully prepared for a real fire – get out of the home as soon as the smoke alarm sets off. Choose “defending in place” strategy if you live in high-rise and apartment buildings.
Put your plan to the test
Make sure to practice your fire escape plan twice a year. Make a drill as realistic as possible. Also, make arrangements for people with disability in your plan.
Let children master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The aim of the drill is not to frighten them but to practice what they can do when a fire breaks out.
During the drill, it’s important to determine that children and other members can readily wake up to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to do so, make sure someone is assigned to wake them up during a real fire emergency.
Also Read: How to Prevent Electrical Fires in Homes
Closing doors on your way out slow the spread of fire. This gives you more time to escape the fire safely.
In some cases, fire can even prevent you from exiting your home. In such cases, practice emergency exit plan. Close all windows and doors between you and the fire to avoid the easy spread of fire.
You can even use duct tapes or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, try opening windows at the top and bottom of your house to let fresh air in.
Don’t forget to call emergency for help. Report your exact location so that emergency help can reach you in time. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth to let the fire department know your location.