A fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you with just a few minutes to safely evacuate. This means every member of your household needs to be prepared to act quickly in an emergency. If you haven’t done so already, here are four things you should do to protect your family.
1. INSTALL AN ALARM SYSTEM
You should have at least one smoke alarm and one carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home, as well as near the bedrooms. Regularly make sure they function by holding down the test button until the alarm goes off. Always keep extra batteries in the house.
2. BUY A PORTABLE EXTINGUISHER
Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher on hand to quickly put out small fires before they cause extensive damage. Install it in a visible location out of the reach of children, ideally on a wall near an exit. Additionally, make sure you know how to use it.
3. CREATE AN EVACUATION PLAN
Draw a floorplan of your home that clearly identifies possible exits, escape routes and a meeting point. This diagram should also note the location of fire extinguishers and alarms around the house. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to ensure everyone can evacuate your home within three minutes.
4. KEEP EXITS CLEAR
Exits should be free of obstructions at all times. In the winter, make sure snow is promptly cleared away from doors and ground-floor windows, and that none of these exits are frozen shut. Additionally, make sure furniture and other objects don’t block escape routes.
These simple steps can help keep you and your family safe in the event of a fire.