A disaster like a house fire or a carbon monoxide leak could strike at any moment, but do you and your family have an escape plan in place? Hudson Chimney cannot stress enough the importance of making sure every member of your family is prepared and informed in the event of a fire, carbon monoxide leak, or other emergency. Your entire family needs to know the correct procedures to safely get out of the house or apartment when a disaster has occurred. You also need to designate a meeting place outside of the home as well as make plans on how to contact members of the household who are away from the home. We would like to share with you some tips from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) about how to create an emergency escape plan for your family to utilize when a disaster strikes.
Sketch out a map of your home.
You do not have to be artistically talented or extremely detailed when drawing this map. The most important things to include are all windows and doors from every room.
Find two ways out of every room.
Go into each room of your house and locate two exits from each room. Take your map with you to mark on the map exactly where these exits can be found in every room.
Ensure all doors and windows work correctly.
The last thing you want to happen when you are escaping from a fast-burning house fire is to get to your designated exit, only to find it stuck and unable to open. Make sure all doors and windows can easily open and close with no problems.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detector alarms throughout your home.
These live-saving alarms should be installed on every level of your home and outside each bedroom. Test the batteries by pushing the test button on each alarm to be certain they are all constantly working.
Establish a meeting place outside.
Choose a location, preferably in front of your house, for all household members to meet up with each other after exiting the home. If an emergency should be unfortunate enough to happen, contact any family members who are away from the home. They should also go to the established meeting place as soon as possible.
Remember the importance of visibility.
You want the emergency responders to arrive as quickly as possible, but if your house number cannot be seen from the street, they may have a hard time finding your home, which wastes valuable and crucial time. Be sure your house number can be easily seen from the street.
Memorize the emergency number to your local fire department.
You should also program this number into family member’s mobile phones. Another important numbers to program and label as emergency is a designated out-of-town contact. You can also store family members’ work information, school information, all medical contacts, health insurance information, and family members’ dates of birth and Social Security numbers in your smartphone as well as on a piece of paper kept in a safe place.
Practice makes perfect!
Get in the habit of the entire family practicing the home emergency escape plan about once a month or so.
Have more questions about planning ways to escape your home during an emergency? Contact Hudson Chimney to talk to our expert staff on how to design one of these escape plans for your family.