Home inspectors

Office:  949 716-0934    Cell:  949 981-6558    E-mail:  seay@cox.net


How to Create a Home Escape Plan

Have a home escape plan for your family in the event of a fire in the home. Remember to practice the plan on a regular basis to make sure everyone in the family is familiar with the plan.
1.  Explain to your family that you're going to create a home escape plan that could save you all in the event of a fire.
2.  Get a piece of white paper and a pencil.
3.  Draw a simple diagram of your house.
4.  Go through the diagram carefully with family members and find two escape routes for every room in the house - the bedrooms in particular. Windows are included as escape routes. If living in an apartment, locate the fire exits and stairs.
5.  Draw arrows on the escape plan, showing the ways out.
6.  Make sure every family member is familiar with the exits chosen.
7.  Decide on a place for family members to meet outside.
8.  Stress the fact that family members should get themselves out in the event of a fire. Do not go running through the house looking for others. Go to a neighbor's home and call 911.
9.  Practice opening windows, taking off screens and, if on a second story, using ladders. This is especially important for children, who can have trouble working window locks or collapsible ladders without practice.
10.  Make sure there are no security bars on bedroom windows - or if there are, make sure they can be opened and closed easily.
11.  Tape a copy of the home escape plan to the back of each bedroom door.
Lower your children down through a window before escaping yourself. They may be too scared to escape if you go first and then motion for them to come down.
Keep bedroom doors closed at night and teach family members how to feel the door before opening it if the smoke detector goes off. To check for heat, place the back of your hand on the door, start at the bottom of the door and work up it as high as possible. Then place the back of your hand on the doorknob (metal conducts heat better than wood - if there's any heat outside the door, you should be able to feel it). If you don't feel heat, crack open the door, staying low, and check for smoke. If smoke is present, use your other way out.
Set up a tour for your children at a local fire station to help them understand the importance of fire safety.
Make sure there are working smoke detectors in every bedroom and in hallways outside the bedrooms.
If a smoke detector goes off, you have just seconds to respond. There is absolutely no time to gather possessions, pets and possibly even each other. Your best response is to leave the home immediately, gather at your prearranged meeting place and call 911 from a neighbor's home.
Never go back into the house once you've escaped from the fire.