In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.
Prepare and practice your fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities. It's also a good idea to practice your plan with overnight guests.
Some tips to consider when preparing your escape plan include:
1. Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows.
2. Find two ways to get out of each room.
3. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
4. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
Use the ladder only in a real emergency.
5. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
6. Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.
7. Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.
The United States Fire Administration recommends everyone should have a comprehensive fire protection plan that includes smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, and practicing a home fire escape plan.