How to Create & Practice a Fire Escape Plan

Having a fire escape plan is important for the safety of your family. By planning your escape ahead of time, you can ensure that everyone will know what to do in the event of a real emergency. Here are some steps you can take to make sure you have a good plan in place.

Install Smoke Detectors

The first step in any escape plan should be to determine how you will first be alerted of a fire in the home. The best way to ensure that every person in the home will be adequately alerted to the hazard is to install smoke detectors in all the areas recommended by your district. If you need help installing smoke detectors in your home, or would like to opt for hardwired units, Mister Sparky® of Richmond is always here to help.

Communicate with All Household Members

As with any plan, it’s no good if nobody knows about it. Have the entire family sit down and discuss the plan so that everyone is on the same page. Talk about the importance of getting out and make sure younger family members know that they should never hide under the bed or in the closet, even if they’re scared.

Identify All Possible Exits

Especially if there are young children in the family, you need to make sure they know at least two ways out of the house and can operate the doors effectively. If your children are too young to operate doors themselves, assign an older sibling to help in case you’re not home during an emergency.

Choose a Meeting Spot

When it comes to house fires, the most important thing you can do is get out of the house immediately. By choosing a meeting place, you can ensure that everyone knows where to go and be accounted for. The best meeting spots are easy to remember and a safe distance from the home. A few examples would be: a neighbor’s house or a particular stop sign down the street.

Practice Your Plan

Doing a dry run of your fire escape plan is a great way to help kids remember what to do in the event of a real emergency—and it can be fun too! Practice escaping a couple of times, maybe even with different scenarios, so you can try it with a few different exits. If you find out that the plan is too complicated or that children have a hard time remembering it, you may want to adjust to something simpler.

Even though nobody ever wants to think that a house fire could happen to them, it’s better to have a plan and not need it than to be unprepared in the face of a real emergency. If you’re searching for more information regarding fire escape plans, the National Fire Protection Association has some great resources.