Basic Fire Escape Planning

The Wright Twp. Vol. Fire Company would like to advise residents to make a plan to escape in case of a house fire.

Your ability to get out of a house fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.

Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Mark the location of each smoke alarm. For easy planning, download NFPA’s  escape planning grid  (PDF, 1.1 MB).

Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.

Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan. Check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Mark the meeting place on your escape plan.

Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.

Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor’s home or a cellular phone once safely outside.

If there are infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person in case the designee is not home during the fire.

If windows or doors in your home have  security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency.

Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family’s fire escape plan. Be fully prepared for a real fire: when a smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately. Residents of  high-rise and apartment buildings may be safer “defending in place.” Once you’re out, stay out! Under

no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.

Putting your plan to the test Practice your home fire escape

plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.

Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.

Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.

It’s important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.

If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route.

Always choose the escape route that is safest –the one with the least amount of smoke and heat –but be prepared to Escape under toxic smoke if necessary. everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke.

Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.

In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice “sealing yourself in for safety” as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.