It is very important that families and employers have a workable plan in case of a fire, according to the National Fire Protection Association. When you have a fire plan, you are far less likely to risk injury or death and may be able to avoid some of the damage associated with a house or business fire.
J&M Keystone, Inc. offers complete fire, soot, smoke and water damage restoration services to homeowners, businesses and institutions. J&M Keystone, Inc. reminds home and business owners that the first priority is having a plan to safely evacuate everyone from the building. After the family or your employees and customers are safely out of the building, you can allow us to come in and take care of the repairs and restoration work that are needed to bring things back to pre-fire condition.
A Fire Safety Plan: The Most Important Plan you Will Make
According to experts, although three-fourths of all homeowners claim their family has a family fire escape plan, only one-third say they have actually practiced their plan. This can be a serious error, as practicing a fire escape plan leads to calm and collected behavior if there is actually an emergency.
Here are some tips from the experts at the NFPA about how to make and practice a fire safety plan.
- Involve everyone in making the fire escape plan. Walk as a group through your home and inspect possible escape routes. Ideally, you should find more than one way out of any area of the home. The NFPA’s escape planning grid can help you and your family create an escape map as well as mark the position of smoke detectors.
- Be sure you have smoke alarms in every room where someone sleeps, outside the main sleeping areas of the home and in the kitchen. At least one smoke detector should be located on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Check doors and windows to be sure they open easily. Windows that are painted shut or have not been opened in some time can be difficult for children or the elderly to open. Use lubricating oil if necessary to help windows open smoothly. Check the windows and doors every six months when you change batteries on your smoke detectors. Experts suggest that this job be done whenever the clocks are changed for Daylight Savings Time.
- Choose a meeting place such as the mailbox that everyone can find easily and that is a distance from the building. Be sure that everyone understands they are to meet there first. Deaths have happened when a family member returned to a burning home to try to rescue someone who was outside but in another part of the yard.
- Be sure your home’s number is clearly visible from the road so that emergency personnel can find you quickly.
- Teach everyone in the family to dial 911. Even children as young as four can be taught to call for help. Teach your children their home address so that they can guide rescue personnel to the scene.
- Assign family members to be responsible for infants and older adults or those who have limited mobility. Assign a backup person in case someone cannot fulfill this role.
- Be sure that emergency bars over windows have an inside release device. Mark the windows with a large, visible sticker on rooms for infants and bedridden or immobile family members.
- Practice your fire drill twice a year. Experts suggest scheduling this activity when you change your clocks and changing your smoke alarm batteries at the same time.
- Practice with children several times before holding an “at-night” fire drill. Determine if the family members will waken easily at the sound of a smoke alarm. Family members who do not waken easily or who have hearing difficulties may need special arrangements.
- If your home has two floors, every member must be able to escape from the second floor. You can place escape ladders near windows or create a route that goes from one sturdy roof to another.
- Everyone should learn to get low and go under smoke to find an exit. Practice this so children are familiar with the concept. Teach everyone to count doorways to find the right exit.
- Close doors to prevent the spread of fire.
- Have an emergency “stay in” plan in case you are trapped inside your home and cannot exit. Keep your cell phone handy so you can call for help and stuff towels under doorways to delay the entry of smoke into the room.
J&M Keystone, Inc. can help you with cleanup after a fire in your home or business. Contact these San Diego cleanup professionals today to learn more about how they can help you recover from a fire and restore your home or business to its former condition.