Each year, we hear of tragedies with families involving fire, natural disasters, home invasion and other home safety breaches.
Most parents know they should have a home safe and evacuation plan but don’t know where to start. So rather than take action, they do nothing until maybe it’s too late. Don’t let that be you.
Here is a simple 7-step family safety and home evacuation plan to consider and execute:
1. Start with inspecting your home thoroughly ensuring all smoke detectors are functioning properly and review the sound of the alarm with children so they know what do to when it goes off.
2. Make sure all the kids know how to dial 911. If they are old enough, practice teaching them your phone number and address to give to emergency personnel.
3. Make an evacuation plan by visiting each room in your home, designating two ways out and check that all windows and doors open easily.
4. Stock a safety kit including a fire extinguisher that all members in the house know to use. Consider investing in one of those window ladders to increase chances of escape from upper windows.
5. Ensure everyone knows how to test if it’s safe to open a door during a fire and the “stop, drop and roll” procedure in fires. The may have learned safety steps in a school safety assemby at some point but have them learn to apply it in your home.
6. Lastly, designate a safe meeting place outside the home where your family can gather after exiting. This meeting place should be close to the home, but not too close to be in danger from the fire, and in front of the house so that fire safety personnel can easily see you as they arrive. It should also be somewhere easy to find in day or night, such as near a telephone pole, tree or mailbox.
7. Most importantly, practice the escape plan. While 71 percent of Americans have a plan, only 47 percent of those have practiced it.
Don’t just read this, put it in place and practice it. You never know if this information, put into action, could save yours or a family member’s life.
Good luck and be safe, families!