How to prepare a fire escape plan
Fire Prevention Week runs from October 8th to 14th. It’s an excellent time to prepare your plan in case of a fire emergency. The theme this year is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests the following steps for your family to be ready.
- Draw a map of your home with all members of your household. This grid will help you. Mark two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
- Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
Some Fire facts
- On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day.
- Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment.
- Three out of five home fire deaths in 2010-2014 were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
Hoarding and fire safety
Many fire departments are experiencing serious fires, injuries, and deaths as the result of compulsive hoarding behavior.
Dryers and washing machines
Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 5%.
In 2010-2014, U.S. municipal fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year. These fires resulted in annual losses estimated at 13 civilian deaths, 440 civilian injuries, and $238 million in direct property damage.