Make a map of your house using the link provided below or use your own paper. Identify all rooms in the house or apartment and have a way(s) to escape from each room located using windows or doors. Doors are always the easiest way out if they are available. All occupants that are old enough should know how to operate locks on doors and windows. Discuss with family who will be responsible for younger children, disabled persons or the elderly. Pick a meeting place outside your residence when everyone will gather after they have left the building.
Post your escape plan somewhere in the house where everyone can be reminded of it. (eg: refrigerator)
Practice your escape plan regularly, update it if you move or have additions to your family.
ADVICE: designate someone to attend to small children, elderly or disabled. If you are unable to reach them because of fire or other hazard, CALL 911, the faster you call the faster rescue personnel can respond.
Make sure disabled persons have the ability to open windows and doors; nothing should be blocking access to doors or windows. Make sure hallways and doorways have clear passage. Ensure disabled persons have a way to contact help.
GET OUT, STAY OUT! NEVER re-enter a burning building! Not for anything!
Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from all combustible (flammable items: drapes, couches, blankets) materials and never leave them unattended. Avoid placing space heaters in bathrooms and other damp locations.
Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Never leave a let candle unattended. Trim the wicks to one-quarter inch to avoid high flames and remember to leave a one foot circle of safety around any burning candle in your home.
Do not overload electrical outlets, power strips or extension cords. Connect only as many devices as your electrical circuit can handle.
When leaving your home, make sure to extinguish or turn off all candles, fireplaces, heaters, coffee pots, curling irons and other electrical items.
Secure a sturdy metal screen in front of fireplaces to prevent hot ash from escaping. Allow ashes to cool completely before disposal and place them in a metal container to avoid any potential fire hazards.
Have chimneys and other sources of heat cleaned by a qualified professional.
Do not leave an active stove unattended and never use an oven to heat your home. It can release potentially toxic fumes.
Keep a fire extinguisher near high-risk areas (kitchen, grill, fireplace) so that it is easily accessible in the event of a fire. Review extinguisher usage instructions to keep your self prepared. Alert everyone to evacuate before using the extinguisher and have someone call the fire department from outside.
Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Test them every month. Replace batteries as necessary. Replace any smoke detectors that have been used for 10 years or more.
Install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector alarm near all fuel burning devices and outside each sleeping area.
Ask smokers to smoke outside or provide large deep ashtrays. Wet all smoking materials before discarding them in your trash container.
Select a designated meeting place outside your home for your family. Teach all occupants how important it is to report to the meeting place and stay there. Never go back inside. GET OUT, STAY OUT!
Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year. We recommend practicing it during the day and during the evening hours. Remind any guests about your safe meeting place, outside and away from the home. Keep your escape plan posted in a highly visible area to review with your family.
Talk to your children about fire safety. If there is a home fire, everyone should get out and stay out. Call 911 from outside the home (cell phone or neighbor's house) and NEVER go back into a burning building to retrieve a personal item, pet or family member. The faster you call 911 the faster the response time by the fire department. Only they should enter a burning building.
If you live in a 2 story or higher residence, please consider purchasing a fire escape ladder for your home. Ladders come in a variety of lengths to accommodate your residence. They can be purchased at hardware stores, home improvement stores and most major retailers. (True Value, Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Wal-mart. Feel then peek out doors, close door behind you, especially important if you need to retreat.
If you need a smoke detector (provided to you at NO COST) or you would like someone to come to your home to evaluate your smoke detectors, please call the smoke detector hotline at (414) 286-8980.