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How To Develop a Fire Escape Plan

Fire detectors are life savers, assuming that you have a competent fire escape plan. Within a minute after you wake up to the sound of a fire alarm shrieking in your ear, a small fire can turn into a large fire, making it considerably tricky for you and your family to navigate to your evacuation route. Obviously, time is of the essence when you hear a smoke detector go off, and it's paramount that you have a reliable fire escape plan so you and your family can evacuate your house safely. Whilst it is a legal requirement to have working fire detectors on each level of a property, you'd be dumbfounded at just how many families don't have a proper fire escape plan, let alone practice test evacuations at least once every six months.

Setting up a fire escape plan

Creating a fire escape plan is far easier than most people expect. If you want a template to help you get the ball rolling, then there are some fantastic online resources to assist you. When you've printed the template on either an A4 or A3 sheet of paper, draw a floor plan of your house. After you've completed this, you'll then need to draft your fire escape plan together with all other occupants of your house. Not only will they assist you in making an effective fire escape plan, but they'll also have a greater understanding of the plan if they're involved in making it.

Multiple fire escape plans

At this point, it's critical to note that every home should have two fire escape routes for each and every room. You never know where a fire can start up, so to prepare for the worst you'll need two evacuation points from each room. Once you’re finished, place the fire escape plan in a frequented location so it stays fresh in everyone's mind. The fridge would be an ideal start.

Don’t forget basic fire safety procedures

  • Verify that the windows and screens of every room can be comfortably opened
  • Make sure that every occupant understands exactly where to meet after evacuating the house. The letterbox is a good example
  • As soon as every person has been evacuated, never return inside a burning household under any circumstances
  • Rehearse your fire escape plan at least twice a year to make sure everyone is familiar with all the evacuation routes
  • If you live in an apartment, make sure that all occupants learn and practice the apartment buildings fire evacuation plan
  • If you hear a fire detector, evacuate immediately
  • When you need to evacuate a building, never use the elevator; always use the stairs

Fire prevention strategies

There are measures that everyone can take to try to prevent fires from igniting to begin with. First and foremost, every house should be equipped with an ABE Dry Powder fire extinguisher, ideally positioned in a convenient location on each floor of your home. This will aid you and your family if you need to evacuate, and are very effective at containing small fires before they magnify and cause substantial damage to your property.

In addition to this, each home should also have a fire blanket located near the kitchen. If someone's clothes have caught on fire, then a fire blanket will quickly extinguish it. Likewise, fire blankets are also the most efficient way to extinguish a cooking or grease fire, so installing the fire blanket at the entrance to the kitchen is best.

Maintain your fire safety equipment

Lastly, it's extremely important that you test the batteries of your fire detectors monthly and replace the batteries annually. There's no point in having fire detectors if they aren't working when you need them to. Always remember that failing to prepare is preparing to fail, so if you don't already have a fire escape plan for your household, create one today.

It’s much easier to create a fire plan than to blindly evacuate your house in the event of a fire. Creating a fire plan isn’t a difficult task, and involving the whole household will greatly assist. Whether your fire escape plan is for a large home or a small apartment building, making sure everyone is familiar with your fire escape plan will help to keep everyone in your family safe.

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