October is Fire Prevention Month in Seattle and to kick off the month, we would like to highlight the importance of developing and practicing a home fire escape plan. Did you know that from the time a smoke alarm sounds, a person may have under two minutes to get out safely?
A home fire escape plan provides the skills to quickly and safely escape a home fire. Home fire escape plans should include two exits from every room in the home; a path to the outside from each exit; smoke/CO alarms in all required locations; and a meeting place outside where everyone in the home will meet upon exiting. Every member of the household should participate in developing the plan and in practicing it.
Your plan should include the following:
- ·Have two ways out from every room—a secondary route may be a window. You may want to consider an escape ladder for rooms on the 2nd or 3rd level of the home.
- Make sure everyone can open the windows, including screens and security bars.
- Keep exits clear.
If you experience a home fire, follow these steps:
- If smoke is blocking your first way out, try your second. If needed, crawl low under smoke where the air is cleaner and get out quickly.
- Go to your outside meeting place and then call 911.
- If a family member or pet is still inside, tell the 911 operator and alert firefighters immediately upon their arrival.
- Never re-enter your home until the firefighters say it is safe to do so.
By preparing and practicing a home fire evacuation plan, you will be better prepared should the unimaginable happen.