Chief’s Corner: Home fire escape planning importance
October 16, 2013
EDITOR'S NOTE: "Chief's Corner" is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.
Plan ahead. If a fire breaks out in our home, you may have only a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire.
According to NFPA, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. While 71 percent of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47 percent of those have practiced it.
Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home. For easy planning, download NFPA's escape planning grid. This is a great way to get children involved in fire safety in a non-threatening way.
• Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.
• Have an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.
• Practice your home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home, twice a year.
• Practice using different ways out.
• Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can't help them.
• Close doors behind you as you leave.
IF THE ALARM SOUNDS
• If the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out! Never go back inside for people or pets.
• If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
• Call the fire department from outside your home.
For more information on home fire escape plans visit http://www.nfpa.org.