Fire safety plans that can save a family

A family member showing the use of fire detector.

A family of seven did not perish when they discovered a fire in their home, but managed to get out of the burning house in just a few minutes. Why? Because they had planned in advance what to do in case of fire and had had regular fire drills. Does your family know what to do in case of fire?"

Advance fire safety measures


The indecision, confusion and the panic that often strikes a family when there is a fire can be avoided, if the family plans together in advance what everyone will do.

An escape route can be decided on for every room in the house, so that everyone can get out as quickly as possible.

An alternate route can also be planned in the event the main is blocked by fire or smoke.

Actually using these escape routes from time to time in home fire drills will impress clearly on the minds of everyone in the family.

All members of the family must understand that they must stop whatever they are doing when a fire warning is given and go at once by the planned escape route to the nearest exit.

This promptness will mean minutes saved during a fire, and that may be all they need to save their lives.

Another good habit for them to form is to close the doors behind them as they leave. This will help to bottle up the fire and slow its progress.

It would be well for the family to go through the motions of testing a door as to whether it is hot or cool before opening it.

Someone can stand on the outside of the door and call out “cool,” and the one inside can practice the proper manner of opening it.

Second story fire escape


If an alternative escape route is through a second-story window, it would be well to install a rope ladder, such as is used to go up and down the side of a boat.

This can be kept in a neat box in the room near the window and the upper end of the rope ladder can be securely fastened to the wall.

In practice fire drills the ladder should actually be used so everyone will become familiar with it and not fearful of using it when emergency arises.

A good precaution would be also to keep a lightweight ladder, such as an aluminium one, located at a convenient spot outside the house.

If it is kept in a locked garage it will be of little value in an emergency. Perhaps it could be kept in along the side of the house behind some flowers and shrubbery.

As part of the plan for getting the family out of the house, this ladder could be quickly set against preselected windows by the first person out of the house.

Incorporated in the plans should be a spot where the family could gather when are safely outside. It will then be easy to ascertain if anyone is still in the house.

Many frantic parents have lost their lives by going back into a burning house thinking that a child was still there when he or she actually had escaped.

As other members of the family get out, one could run to the nearest fire alarm box and turn the alarm on.

Parents will want to instruct children on how to operate the alarm by actually taking them to the box. While there it is important to warn the children against turning in a false alarm as a hoax.

Apartment fire escape


If the family lives in an upper floors of an apartment house, its members can be become familiar with the various escape routes that are available to them.

Their knowing what to do if smoke cuts off these routes is also important.

They can practice stuffing rags into the cracks of the doors to keep smoke out.

In an actual fire they could protect themselves from the heat by keeping these rags wet and gathering under wet blankets by the open windows to wait for firemen to rescue them.

The windows ought to be opened at the top and bottom so that any smoke that does get into the room will go out the top and fresh air will come in the bottom.

Since young children have a tendency to hide under a bed or in a closet when frightened, parents would want to train their children not to do this in case of fire.

With patience they should be taught what to do, even if it is just standing near the window to await rescue.

Firemen have lost precious time searching under beds and elsewhere for frightened children. They should also be taught to roll on the ground if their clothing catches fire.

Good warning system


A good system is one that will give automatic warning.

When a fire breaks out this is of great value because there is no assurance that anyone in the family will be awakened, if the fire happens at night.

Many people have been killed in their sleep. An alarm that will automatically make a loud noise in case of fire, will give occupants of a house more time to escape.

There are various systems that operate on heat-detection arrangement. When the air around a heat detector reaches a certain temperature the alarm is activated.

An alarm that will warn of smoke is even more valuable, because smoke is so deadly.

Most of home fires begin slowly as smoldering blazes that are not usually hot enough to active average heat detectors but could activate smoke detectors.

Although a detection system that warns of smoke and fire can be expensive, but when there is a fire it will definitely help save lives which is a more expensive loss if lost.

Conclusion


The tragic thing about the many deaths caused by fire in homes is that most of them are unnecessary. They could be avoided by advance planning.

Even if one is not able to afford an alarm system, one can have a fire escape plan and fire drills.

You may never need them; but if you do, they can mean the difference between preserving your family and losing it.

Why be indifferent to danger of a fire and suffer fatalities like the many fire tragedies reported in the daily newspapers?

To avoid making fatal mistakes during your escape, take action now to mitigate any effects that may occur when your house is exposed to fire. It is better to safe than sorry.

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