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Protecting Your Home From Smoke, Gas, And Fire

Fire Safety: Creating an Escape Plan continued...

Once you’ve decided on an escape plan, make copies and give one to every member of the family and schedule regular practice sessions. Everyone should know how to exit and practice exiting from each room in the house. These sessions should include practicing how to get out in the dark with eyes closed.

As you practice the escape plan, be sure everyone understands the following concepts:

  • When there is a fire, it's important to leave immediately. There is no time to stop to remove anything.
  • A door that's hot to the touch should never be opened. Before opening a door in a fire, feel it with the back of your hand. Also feel the doorknob and the crack between the door and door frame. If it's hot, use the alternate exit.
  • Even doors that are cool should be opened carefully. The proper way to open a door is to pull it open slowly with your shoulder braced against it. If smoke or flame bursts into the room, quickly slam the door shut and use the alternate exit.
  • If there is smoke along the exit route, people should crawl on the floor beneath it with their mouth and nose covered to avoid being overcome.
  • Have a designated meeting place outside and away from the house, such as under a specific tree or at the end of the driveway. Everyone needs to go there and someone needs to be responsible for counting heads and making sure everyone made it out. Then, someone needs to be designated to go to a neighbor’s house and call 911 or the emergency number for the fire department.
  • Once outside, no one should go back inside the house for any reason. If someone is still in the house, tell the firefighters when they arrive. They have equipment they can use for making a safer rescue.


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