Home Escape Plan

 During fires people often make poor decisions. More often then not these decisions occur because of a lack of planning and practice about what to do when a fire occurs in the home. We encourage people to practice EDITH or Exit Drills In The Home.

 Begin by drawing a detailed floor plan of your entire home, this may require multiple drawings. Be sure to include all floors, doors, windows, outdoor features and possible obstacles to your escape. Make sure that doors are free of obstruction and that windows you plan to use operate correctly and are not painted shut.

 When you are done with your drawing, identify a primary and alternate escape route from each room in the home. Make sure everyone can use each escape route and that the escape route is accessible.

 In a two story home, plan safe escape routes through second-story windows leading to roofs or balconies. This should be your secondary escape route. If you do not have a safe escape route through windows you should consider purchasing a non-combustible escape ladder that is tested and listed by an independent testing laboratory such as UL.

 Once you have done this keep the escape routes clear and uncluttered and have everyone learn the escape routes. The escape plan should be practiced twice a year. Begin by announcing when you will practice the escape and appoint a monitor. Have the monitor start the drill by pushing a test button on a smoke detector and yelling fire everyone out.

 Once out of the house everyone meets at a predetermined safe place such as a tree or mailbox that is away from the house and other dangers. These dangers include overhead power lines, which may burn off of the house in a fire.

 Use these survival rules with your home escape plan:

  • Check your smoke detectors at least once a month

  • Change the batteries in your smoke detector once a year

  • Crawl low to get out of the house, smoke and heat rise and some poisonous gases may settle near the floor but between one and two feet off the floor there will be a breathable layer of air

  • Keep doors closed to protect you from the fire, they will keep the smoke and fire from coming into your room

  • Before opening a door test it by feeling it with the back of your hand if it is arm use the alternate escape route

  • If you have to escape through a window and have a escape ladder use it

  • If you have to escape through a window first make the door to the room is closed tight then open the window and go out feet first then lower yourself as far as you can hanging on to the window sill, then drop to the ground bending your knees to cushion your fall

  • If you have a child with you let the child go out first, hold on to the child’s hand or wrist lower the child feet first as far as you can, if someone is outside drop the child to them and they can break their fall, if there is no one outside you will have to drop the child once you have lowered them as far as you can without risking falling out yourself

  • Make sure that everyone stays out

  • Call the fire department from a neighbors house or cellular phone

  • Make sure everyone knows your address and that address is well marked on your home 

 Residents can purchase reflective address signs for their homes by contacting the Fire Department at 837-7883. We also have a fire safety home where many of these survival rules can be practiced. This home is available for use / demonstrations by groups by contacting us at 837-7883.