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CREATING A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN FOR YOUR FAMILY

Having a fire escape plan in place is important for all families whether you are renting or owning. It doesn't matter if you live in an apartment complex with child proof window locks or if you live in a house, you need to know the safest way to exit the building as a team. Take time to make a fire escape plan and talk to your family about what to do if disaster does strike. The more comfortable you are with your plan, the more confident your family will be if you ever need to use the plan.

A fire evacuation plan is an evacuation plan that is in place in the event of a fire. While you cannot always predict where the fire will be you can have certain actions into place just in case. For example, teaching your kids how to check to see if the door is hot and how to crawl to the nearest exit will prepare them in the event of fire in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen or anywhere else. In addition to having the right evacuation plan in place, make sure you also have a working smoke detector and fire alarm on every floor in your home.

When you are preparing a fire escape plan for your family you should have a set place to meet. The power line on the other side of the yard, the tree down the street, the park up the road - all of these are good places to meet as they are well enough away from the house but not so far that it is a hazard getting there. That way, no matter where you are, you can all get to safety as quickly as possible.

Preparing Children for Fires

Children need to understand how important it is to get out of the house, even if this means doing it by themselves. Many young children will panic and look for you which can trap them in the flames and smoke. Practicing the exit routine over and over and over again and get them more comfortable in the evacuation process and help them adjust to doing this on their own, if need be.

As the adults you also need to be prepared to follow through with the plan. If you are in another room from your kids then instinct will take over and you will try to get to them. Call out to them, see where they are and guide them to safety if you can. Try to avoid going upstairs or blocking yourself in as this can be hazardous for both you and your child.

Keep in mind that often the best laid plans don't always work. Sometimes someone will get boxed in and thus they will need to climb out the window. Have a ladder in place where you can easily get to it. Or, put a spare mattress on the side of the shed so you can move it and put it in place if someone does need to jump out of a second story building. This may seem like a pretty unlikely event but you should be prepared just in case.

In addition to creating a fire escape plan for your family make sure you practice the plan as well. You should also set up an emergency point near the house for any type of emergency from a fire to a flood. Make sure the kids have your cell phone numbers in their bags or memorized just in case you are not home when something happens. Communication is key when it comes to dealing with any disaster including a fire.

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