After spending 30 years with the Ocean Shores Fire Department, I know that no one likes to think about the possibility of a fire in their home. However, this is one situation where it definitely pays to be prepared. This is especially true if you have children or pets in your home. Read on to learn how to develop a fire safety plan to ensure you and your loved ones are as safe as possible in an emergency.
Plan Multiple Routes Out of Your Home
Depending on where the fire starts and how much of your home it consumes, you may not necessarily be able to use the most obvious exit. Of course, the best way to get out of your home in a fire is the quickest route, but you may not have access to it if fire is blocking it. In addition to identifying the fastest way out, be sure to have several contingency options at the ready as well.
This is especially important if your home has two or more levels. If a fire is blocking the stairs, how will you get your loved ones out safely? Think about as many possible ways to get out of every room in your home as you can, and make sure all members of your family are familiar with their exit routes, no matter where they are.
Consider All Members of Your Family
Small children and pets will likely need assistance in the event of a fire, so you and any other adults in your home will need to plan who will take on which responsibilities. For example, you might tend to your children while your partner handles the pets, or vice versa. The important thing is to ensure that everyone will be taken care of and that no one will be forgotten. The last thing you want to have to do is run back into a burning house to rescue a forgotten hamster on the upper floor.
Do Several Practice Runs
All that planning can quickly go out the window in the stress and chaos of an actual emergency, so be sure to practice your fire exit plan frequently. This will instill the exit routes and procedure in your and your loved ones' minds so everyone can get out safely without panicking. Make sure your kids understand the importance of this practice as well to ensure they take it seriously and pay attention to the details. With practice, you and your family will be well-prepared in the event of a fire.