Fire Safety Questions and Answers
What to know before a fire.
Do I really need to leave if the alarm goes off?
Yes! It's a fire alarm – leave! The alarm goes off for a reason! Leave the building at the first sign of fire and EVERY TIME you hear a smoke or fire alarm. Don't take time to investigate – leave immediately and call 9-1-1.
Should bedroom doors be shut while we sleep?
Yes. You should always sleep with bedroom doors shut. Why? In addition to privacy, doors can act as smoke shields and also increase potential escape time. At night, consider shutting doors to all rooms in your home (bathroom, office, basement) in case a fire starts in those rooms.
How do I make a fire escape plan?
Draw a floor plan of each floor(s) of your residence.
Mark two escape routes from each room.
Designate a place for family to meet outside the house.
If your meeting spot is a neighbor's house, make sure all family members know the neighbor's address and phone number. And, make sure to tell your neighbor that they are "it."
Now – practice escaping and practice often.
My kids are at "that age" - how do I get them to take part in fire safety?
Fire safety doesn't have to be a chore. Make a game of it – and be sure that there are rewards at the end (Pizza? Allowance? Car keys?). Here are some ideas:
Have your kids choose the place where you'll all meet in case you need to leave the house immediately. Make the deal with your kids that they will stay in that spot until they are told by firefighters that it is OK to move.
WHN Tip: Keep Access Clear
Make sure your meeting place is away from the road and driveway. First responder vehicles will drive on these.
You've done the family escape plan – place a copy in each family member's bedroom (and guest bedrooms!). Have your kids color in their escape routes (remember they have to have two exits to color in).
Have your kids choose where they'd like to place the escape plan in their room (you need to make it's easily accessible.).
Practice your escape plan every month and practice using two exits. Make sure windows and doors are easy to open and that screens can be removed.
WHN Tip: Practice, practice, practice
Practice at night to see how long family members take to wake up. You should also practice blindfolded. Why? Smoke makes it very difficult to see anything. And have your kids time you – or have a neighbor time your whole family. Then return the favor and time your neighbor.
Do I need smoke alarms in each bedroom?
Yes! Smoke alarms should be inside each bedroom as well as on each level of your home.
WHN Tip: Can you hear it?
Listen up! Make sure you can hear the smoke alarms in every part of your home. Some brands make systems that sound all alarms when one alarm is triggered; when you're purchasing your alarms, ask how they function.
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