Some things are too hot to handle, and home fires are one of them. They pose a very real threat to homeowners – yet, like many things, fire safety isn’t thought about until it’s too late. Since statistics show that over 3,500 Americans die each year in fires, that’s a dangerous mentality.
So what can you do to keep your family safe in the event of a home fire?
Have an evacuation plan. No, this is not a “Hey, let’s just meet somewhere outside in case of a fire” plan. Have a real plan, where you have contingencies for each room in case of a blocked exit. Every member of the family should be aware of the plan and know what to do in case of a fire.
Leave the possessions behind. We know that there are important items in your home that you would want to save, but is that so important that you would sacrifice your life for them? The number one priority in case of a fire is to get out of the house as safely and as quickly as possible.
Stay low to avoid the smoke. Also, never open a door that is hot to the touch. Use your hand to feel the doorknob or gap between the door and door frame. If it is hot, use your secondary escape route.
Designate a meeting place. Creating a specific place to meet after your escape is essential to a fire safety plan. Everyone knows where to go and it will be easier to see who has made it out of the house safely.
Once out, stay out. Once you have made it to the meeting area, call 911. As much as you many want to go in and snag your favorite Snuggie, leave it to the professionals. The firemen are much better equipped to go into the house and save someone/something than you are.
Detectors save lives. Check your smoke detector at least once a month for dead batteries. Placing a smoke detector on every floor of your house dramatically increases your chances of survival.