While fire prevention greatly reduces the risk of injury or property damage, some events are unavoidable. Lightning, malfunctioning appliances or a fire caused by a faulty repair job are all situations beyond your control. After taking careful precautions to protect a home or business from the threat of fire, it’s also essential to have an evacuation strategy in place. This allows everyone to exit a property quickly and safely when a fire must be reported. Families who reside in a two-story home may even want to consider additional safety measures, such as an emergency escape ladder designed by ResQLadder.
Develop and Practice Your Exit Strategy
Having access to fire alarms and extinguishers has caused many homeowners to become lax when it comes to developing an escape plan. While these tools are great for detecting and handling some fires, escaping a property safely is the goal when a major blaze occurs. Trying to put out a serious fire on your own or scrambling to save valued possessions often leads to bodily injury or even death.
Fire Exit Checklist
- Every room of a home should have two potential exits. This is especially important for bedroom areas since fires caused by a heating source commonly occur at night.
- Windows equipped with security bars must have an emergency release installed to permit a quick escape. These devices can only be activated from inside a home, so they don’t cause security issues.
- A specific outdoor gathering spot should be designated. This practice eliminates any added confusion and makes it easier to determine if all family members have exited the home.
- All members of the household should know the contact information for the local fire department or emergency services.
- Adults should be assigned the responsibility of assisting infants, toddlers and those with physical limitations to ensure everyone escapes the fire.
- Most experts recommend closing all bedroom doors at night. A closed door helps restrict the spread of flames and toxic fumes and also allows additional time for escape. Fire deaths that occur at night are often the result of excess smoke inhalation. When oxygen levels are compromised, impaired judgement and unconsciousness can occur rapidly.
Adopting a fire exit strategy at home is just as important as a workplace escape plan. In fact, the majority of injuries and deaths from fire happen at home. Spending a little time to prepare and educate your family for the possibility of a fire can go a long way in preventing serious injuries.