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Fire Prevention Week 2017: How to Design a Fire Evacuation Plan

Fire Prevention Week 2017: How to Design a Fire Evacuation Plan

fire fighters combating fireThis week, October 8 – October 14, is National Fire Prevention Week! This year’s theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out,” designed by the National Fire Protection Association, focuses on the importance of creating a solid fire evacuation plan in the event of an emergency. Dealing with fire is a scary experience, and although fire can cause fire damage that requires costly fire damage restoration, the most important thing is making sure your family gets out of the burning home and stays safe. Follow these steps to create your own fire evacuation plan.

1. Draw a Map of Your Home and Neighborhood

The first step to creating an evacuation plan is to create or obtain a map of your home’s layout and/or the surrounding street or neighborhood. Make sure your map is accurate so you can create the most efficient evacuation route possible. It’s a good idea to have an accurate map of your street and/or neighborhood as well so you and your family know where to go once you’re all safely outside. If you’re not sure how to draw your own map, you may be able to obtain the floor plan for your house from your realtor or local permits office.

2. Pick a Meeting Place

You and your family should always know exactly where to go in the event of a fire. Talk to your family about picking an agreed-upon outdoor meeting place where everyone will gather once they’ve made it outside. You could establish a secondary, backup meeting place to use if circumstances prevent you from reaching the first one, but make sure all members of your family know the one location they will go to first if possible.

Your meeting place should be far enough away from your home so that flames, smoke, and falling debris cannot reach you or your family. However, your meeting place should not be so far away that family members could get lost on the way there, especially in the confusing and stressful process of fleeing a fire. Choose a location that’s easily recognizable and in plain sight, such as a nearby distinct tree or a stop sign.

3. Plan Your Route

Now that you’ve picked your meeting place, plan the evacuation route to get there. Look at the map or floor plan of your home. Try to determine two exits from every room on every floor in the home. This way, if one exit is blocked, you can use the second exit to get out of the room and house safely. Remember that windows can serve as exits if a door is blocked by fire or debris. Don’t assume that you’ll always be able to use your house’s front door to get out; make sure your family knows to use a back door or first-floor window to get outside if necessary.

Your route should not only involve how to exit the home but how to navigate to your determined meeting place, too. If you’ve designated a backup meeting place, create a route that leads to that one, too, in the event that reaching the first meeting place is unsafe or impossible.

4. Assign Roles and Duties

A fire is a scary experience, but it is necessary that your family works together and remains calm during a fire to ensure everyone stays safe. While making your evacuation plan, give members of your family duties or responsibilities during an evacuation. The parents and any other adult, able-bodied individuals of the household may be assigned to get all children, pets, or disabled people out of the home when a fire starts. Older siblings may be responsible for guiding younger siblings if separated from the parents. Remind your family members, especially children, that every second count and they must leave the house as quickly as possible. They should not delay in leaving the home or attempt to reenter the home to collect personal belongings during a fire.

5. Practice!

Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to your home fire evacuation plan. Hold a “fire drill” to make sure your evacuation plan runs smoothly and everyone makes it outside. It’s a good idea to time the fire drill and see how quickly your entire family can get out of the home. Practice multiple times and see if you can reduce the amount of time it takes to get the entire family outside. Make sure you practice both at night and during the day—everything looks very different during these two times of day! Practice until everyone makes it outside in your desired time period, and keep practicing on a routine basis to ensure your family does not forget the evacuation route.

6. Pick a Fire Damage Restoration Company in Northern Virginia!

Hopefully, you will never have to face a house fire, but you can never be too prepared! Make sure you know the number of a local home repairs company in Northern Virginia that provides fire damage restoration. Property Solutions offers fire damage restoration in Northern Virginia, in addition to smoke damage restoration and water damage restoration. We understand that a house fire is a chaotic experience, and we are here to clean up the mess to get your life back on track as fast as possible.

Contact us at (571) 526-0075 to learn more about our fire damage restoration in Northern Virginia.

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