What would you do in the event of fire? How would you react? These are some important questions you need to ask yourself. According to statistics, only 23% of families in the US know the answers to these questions, which is pretty low considering the remaining 77% have little to no idea what to do in the event of fire.
- The most important thing to remember is to remain calm and not panic;
- Check where the smoke is coming from;
- Look for the nearest safe exits;
- Calmly gather your family members and proceed towards the exits ;
- Head across the street so that you are a safe distance from the house;
- Call 911 from your cell phone or neighbor’s phone..
Develop an Escape Plan
Knowing exactly what to do in case of a fire is important. The most important thing to do is to practice your escape plan and teach it to anyone who is living in your house. They should know what they need to do in case of a fire and how to react in a real emergency scenario.
As mentioned earlier, only 23% of Americans have a developed fire escape plan. This is a disturbing figure as the remaining 77% have no idea as to what to do in case the fire alarm goes off.
Being prepared can save lives. All family members, regardless of age, should be informed and practice the escape plan in case of fire. The best way to prepare for facing this devastating danger is prevention, but in the event it does happen, it is most important to know how to escape.
- Do not store combustible material in the utility room and close to heat sources, i.e. water heater and HVAC;
- Avoid storing gasoline and harsh chemicals in the garage, especially during the hot summer days;
- Make sure that the fireplace (wood burning or gas) operates properly, has a safety screen, and any combustible material is at a safe distance;
- Have a habit of checking the stove burners and the oven daily before leaving the house;
- Make sure that each level of the house has at least one smoke alarm;
- Test the smoke alarms regularly and replace the batteries at least once a year; working smoke alarms increase the chance of surviving a home fire by 50%;
- Check all windows and make sure they open and close with ease;
- Make sure that there is a folding ladder in each room on higher levels;
- Have emergency phone numbers on hand at all time (Fire Department, Police, Sheriff, Hospital, neighbors, etc.);
- Train younger kids to memorize and dial 911 and what to say;
- Visit your local Fire Department – take some donuts or cookies with you, or cook a meal for them. They will be glad to give you tips and advice for fire prevention and it will also be a good experience for the kids. Remember that most firemen and firewomen are volunteers.
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