Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out of your home during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.
- Why do you need a home escape plan?
- Working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan can reduce your risk of injury or death in a fire.
- Most fatal fires happen in homes.
- When fire strikes you may have less than one minute to get out of the building.
- Fires double in size every minute.
- Fires create thick, black, choking smoke which makes it impossible to see or breathe.
- Fires produce heat, smoke and toxic gases.
- In the event of fire, time is the biggest enemy, and every second counts. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can turn into a major fire. Having an escape plan will help you and your family to get out of your home quickly. Practice E.D.I.T.H. — Exit Drills in the Home — with your family.
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Below are guidelines on how to write your home fire escape plan. As your insurance agent, we strongly encourage you to follow these steps and create a plan for your own home.
- Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home. Show all doors and windows.
- Visit each room, find two ways out, including windows and doors, and mark them.
- All windows and doors should open easily. You should be able to use them to get outside.
- Push the test button on each smoke alarm to make sure each alarm is working. Replace the batteries where needed.
- Pick a meeting place outside. It should be in front of your home. Everyone will meet at the
- meeting place.
- Make sure your house or building number can be seen from the street.
- Talk about your plan with everyone in your home.
- Learn the emergency phone number for your fire department.
- Practice your home fire drill!
Watch these steps to making a home fire escape plan from the National Fire Protection Agency.
According to an NFPA survey, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 45% of those have practiced it. One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!