Teach Children Home Fire Safety Early
Children should know to exit a fire immediately and never to hide in closets or under beds. They should be familiarized with the sound of a smoke alarm and taught to wake up when it sounds. Each child should know two ways out of their bedroom and out of the house. If there’s smoke, they need to stay low to the ground while exiting the home. Teach children to go to the designated meeting place and never to go back into the house for pets or belongings.
Create a Fire Escape Plan Together
Using a very simple floor plan of your home, mark all doors and windows, and the location of each smoke alarm. If windows or doors have security bars, equip them with quick-release devices. Review the plan with each member of your family or household. Locate two escape routes from each room and mark them on the plan. Choose a meeting place a safe distance from your home and draw it on the escape plan. Create your escape plan now.
Practice Escaping From Every Room
Families should practice the Fire Escape Plan every month. Practice exiting each room via the two escapes routes designated in the Fire Escape plan. The primary escape route is the door and a secondary route might be to exit through the window using an Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) approved escape ladder. Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly and that security bars can be properly opened. Also, practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
Equip Upstairs Bedrooms with Escape Ladders
Every bedroom should have a collapsible escape ladder near a window. Choose a UL-approved escape ladder with standoffs on every rung. Standoffs rest against the building and steady the ladder making it easier to climb.
Understand Bedroom Fire Safety Basics
Do not trap electric cords against walls or under rugs where heat can build up. Also, be extra careful with portable heaters and electric blankets. Use UL approved electric blankets and warmers. Check to make sure the cords are not frayed. Keep portable heaters away from bedding and clothing. Don’t smoke in bed or leave burning candles unattended.
To slow the spread of fire, always sleep with bedroom doors closed. Teach children to feel the door if they are awakened by a smoke alarm. If the door is warm, they need to go to the secondary escape (another door or out a window with emergency escape ladder.)
Check Smoke Alarms Regularly
First, make sure to have at least one smoke alarm on each level of the home and in or near each sleeping area. Test the alarms every month by pushing the test button, and replace the batteries twice a year (when you reset your clock in the spring and fall) or when the alarm chirps, warning you that the battery is low.
Keep Fire Extinguishers Handy
Place fire extinguishers on each floor of your home and in the kitchen. Make sure to use an all-purpose extinguisher in the kitchen so it can be used on grease and electrical fires. Keep them out of reach of young children.