No one wants to think about experiencing a fire in their home. However, house fires occur all the time. Just because it hasn’t happened to you doesn’t mean it never will, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you don’t need a home evacuation plan, just in case.
Here’s what you need to know to design a plan that will work for you and your family.
Assign Everyone a Role in Your House Fire Plan
Every person, or at least every adult, should have a role in your house fire plan. These roles can vary based on the person’s age, where they sleep (since many house fires occur at night), and their gifts.
For instance, you might task one person with rousing the children and shepherding them outside the home, another with grabbing a cache of important documents, and another with ensuring the safety of the family pet.
Make sure that everyone knows their job in your home evacuation plan, but also be sure they know that their safety is paramount. If they can’t complete their task safely, they should simply leave the home as soon as possible.
There are a few things everyone in your home should know. Ensuring they have this knowledge could save their lives in a fire.
- Check doors for heat before opening them and exiting
- Find kids and stay with them while exiting the building. Remember, kids can sleep through fire alarms!
- Crouch down low to stay away from the worst smoke
- Never go back in the house
- Don’t call 911 until you are safely outside
Specifics For Your Home Evacuation Plan
Every house fire plan needs to have a few key pieces. In addition to giving everyone a role, designate an outdoor meeting place that is well away from the home. Everyone should meet here so you can make sure they are out of the home and uninjured.
Keep important documents together and in a place that is easy to access on the way out of the house. You may want to include birth certificates, identification like passports, Social Security cards, and insurance paperwork. This gives you the best possible chance of being able to grab these even if you’re fleeing from a fire.
You may want to practice your home evacuation plan. Of course, you don’t want to scare any children in your home, but you do want to make sure everyone knows what to do and has done it at least once before.
A house fire plan can help you feel more secure in your home. Once you have one in place, you’ll know that your family has the best possible chance of escaping this kind of catastrophe unphased.