Do you have a home fire escape plan?
In the light of day with a smoke-free bedroom, navigating out of a bedroom, down the stairs and out the front door seems like an easy enough task — even for a child. Add to the equation an unexpected “wake-up call” in the form of a smoke detector, thick, room consuming smoke and the fear that ensues, and the result is a potentially dangerous situation.
It is important as parents to have a fire plan, share that plan with the entire family and practice the plan together. Here are some important points to teach your children during the home fire escape plan drill:
- Do not hide during a fire! Your number one priority is getting out of the house. Remind kids not to try and taking anything with them, “stuff” can be replaced, but they can not be!
- Stay low to the ground under the toxic smoke and touch doors that are closed to see if they are hot before opening them.
- Show your kids two potential ways out of every room in the home. Second story bedrooms should have collapsible ladders for window escapes, and practice using them.
- Have a designated meeting spot outside of the home where all family members know to meet.
- Never go back into a burning building!
Here is an example of children demonstrating a safe fire escape plan:
Beaumont’s Safety City USA is our injury prevention community outreach center. The inside is a replica of what a typical home looks like including a family room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. The bedroom, which is specially equipped with a safe smoke machine, fills with thick, realistic smoke and provides the children the opportunity to learn to stay below the smoke and to practice climbing out a window to safety. Classes can be booked as field trips for groups such as schools, parent groups and scout troops. Safety City also hosts a week long, half-day summer camp. For more information or to book your groups field trip, please call Safety City USA at (248) 898-SAFE.
Plan your escape route and educate your children on the importance of it. Download a free fire escape plan grid and coloring pages now.
–Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager