October 7-13, 2012 was National Fire Prevention Week and ServiceMaster of Burlington was happy to sponsor a radio segment on a local station to promote awareness. As a follow up to this initiative, we thought it important to share some tips on developing a fire escape plan for your family. There is a lot of information available on the subject, along with planning guides, but here are the key steps to keep in mind.
1. Install smoke detectors on each floor of your home and test them regularly.
2. Draw a floor plan of your home that indicates all possible exits from each room.
3. Where possible, plan a main route and an alternate exit route from each room.
4. Make sure that everyone understands that if they hear the smoke detector, or hear someone shouting "fire", they should immediately evacuate the home.
5. Decide on a meeting place outside your home. In the case of a fire, go to this designated area. Someone should then be sent to phone the fire department.
6. Meet the firefighters when they arrive.
7. Ensure that everyone in your home knows not to re-enter a burning building.
Here is some additional information you will want to share with members of your family.
· Before opening any door as you leave, feel it with the back of your hand. If the door is hot - do not open it: use an alternate exit. If windows in the upper level rooms cannot serve as alternative exits, open a window and shout for help.
· In a smoke filled area, the cool air is low to the floor. Practice your escape plan by crawling on your hands and knees.
· If you live in an apartment building, develop your escape plan taking into account fire escape procedures provided by the building management.
· If anyone in your home is unable to evacuate without assistance, assign someone to assist them.
· When you have a babysitter or guests staying in your home, ensure that they become familiar with the fire escape plan.
· Always remember to practice your fire escape plan on a regular basis, to ensure that every family member knows what to do. In the event of a fire emergency, this will also help in preventing panic, particularly in dealing with children.
Sometimes emergency situations arise no matter how much we try to prevent them. Knowing what to do in those situations will help make sure everyone is safe and sound