Imagine for a moment that human spontaneously combusting was a reality. Every so often, with only a couple minutes warning, a person would start feeling their toes and feet warm. As this feeling rose through the body it would become ever more uncomfortable, causing the person to sweat … and then, greyish smoke would waft from their pores. Moments later, they’re on fire and something has to be done, fast!
Would this be enough to ensure that you and your family had a fire safety plan in place?
As first responders, you’ve been faced with dangerous situations where you felt confident that you could successfully overcome the challenge. You’ve been able to do so because of your training, experience and practice … and practice, and practice! Every first responder knows you have to plan ahead, train and rehearse what to do in dangerous situations to ensure that lives are safe.
In order to escape a burning house with the least amount of panic and injury, you and your family need to have practiced your fire drill.
Top 10 Safety Tips (from the National Fire Protection Agency)
Keep in mind – cooking equipment and smoking materials remain the top reasons for a home fire.
- Watch your cooking. Always remain in close proximity to your heat source. If you must leave, turn the heat off.
- Give space heaters space. Keep them at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn. Turn them off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Smoke outside (if you must) away from combustibles; never smoke in bed.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of kids or anyone who poses a risk.
- Inspect electrical cords and replace fair or worn cords immediately.
- Be very careful when using candles. Keep them at least 1 foot away from anything that can burn. Make sure they can’t ignite anything they are positioned on should they fall over or melt to their base. Turn them off when you leave a room or go to sleep.
- Have a home fire escape plan AND physically practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year.
- Install smoke alarms and check them quarterly.
- Consider installing an outdoor / indoor sprinkler system.
- Practice what to do if someone’s clothing or hair catches on fire (stop, drop, cover, roll)….
It’s especially important for younger children to know what to do if they suspect there’s a fire. Watch the following video with your kids and then discuss it; apply it to your own home and practice your escape plan.
Once you’ve watched this video with your kids, check out this Home Fire Escape Plan you can implement with your kids. It’s not only entertaining for them, it’s life saving!