Safety and Fire Prevention Tips

Home Fire Escape Plan
Do you family members know what to do in case of a fire in your home?  Most residential fires occur during the hours that we are asleep. Deaths from fires most usually occur after midnight! More than 6500 people die each year from fire, with well over half of those deaths being children and seniors.  Your family members need to understand that their safety depends upon getting out of the house as quickly as possible and then staying out!  Leave the fire to the professional firefighters....get your family out!

The key to any home fire safety plan is to plan ahead!

Draw Up a Floor Plan
The first thing you need to do is draw a floor plan of your home. This can be done on a plain sheet of notebook paper or on graph paper … whichever is easiest for you. Show every door and window in each room.
Now have your entire family walk from room to room and determine two ways to get out. Usually it’s the bedroom door and a window. If the bedroom is on the second floor…make sure you have a fire escape ladder accessible in each room. These can be purchased at all leading hardware and home improvement store. Make sure everyone knows how to use it.

Sleep With the Door Closed
It is recommended that you sleep with your bedroom door closed. It takes a fire 10 to 15 minutes to burn through a door…that’s 10 to 15 minutes you have to get out. If you are woke up by smoke or by your smoke detector….Always feel the door before you open it. If it is warm…do not open it. Use your second way out of the room. If smoke is coming into your room from under the door…put a towel or bedspread in front of the door to stop it from getting in. This will give you extra time to get out using your second exit.

If the door is not hot….open it slowly and if no flame is visible, crawl under the smoke, to the nearest exit. If you see flames close the door and use your second way out. Once out…stay out.

Have a Meeting Place
Have a pre-determined meeting place outside your home. It can be the mailbox, a large tree, anything that is far enough away from the house to be safe. Once you are outside…do not attempt to go back in. Wait there for your other family members. Go to a neighbor’s house and call 911. If someone is missing….tell the firefighters where they might be.

Practice Makes Perfect
Now… the most important part of having a fire escape plan! Practice what you plan! Make it fun. Have the kid’s practice crawling under imaginary smoke and teach them how and when to open the doors and windows of the bedroom. Sound the smoke detectors in your home…..so the kids will know what they sound like.
It is recommended that you test your smoke detector at night, after the kids have gone to bed, to make sure that it will awaken them. Studies have shown that some kids will sleep through smoke alarms. It is better to know this prior to an actual emergency.

Smoke Detectors
We recommend that you have a smoke detector in each hallway outside the sleeping rooms and one in each sleeping room. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. We recommend changing the batteries when you change your clock to and from daylight saving time.

If you need further information on how to create a fire escape plan or have any other questions about Home Fire Safety. Please call the office of Fire Prevention at 901-385-3322 or E-mail the Fire Marshall or the Deputy Fire Marshall. We are here to help.