Family Fire Escape Plan
Get your family together and draw a floor plan of your home. By working on a Fire Escape Plan together, you and your family will know the safest way out of your home. A useful tip: once you have completed your fire escape plan, make a copy of the plan for each member of your family and post a copy in a common area of your home so that it can be looked at each day.
Plan two ways out of each room; identify each as primary (1st way out) and secondary (2nd way out) exit. For example, the first way out should be using your normal way out such as the front or back door, and the second way out could be a window. Make sure windows can be opened easily. Not all rooms have two exits. In this case, make sure that everyone knows how to safely exit a room. In a two-storey home, plan your escape through a window onto a roof or porch. If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it. Practise your plan at least twice a year.
Choose a meeting place for all family members outside the home and mark it on the floor plan. A good meeting place would be a tree, telephone pole or a neighbour's home. Make sure everyone knows where to meet outside.
Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of the home. Consider sleeping with your bedroom door closed. A closed door can keep out smoke and give you precious time to escape. If you sleep with bedroom doors closed make sure everyone can hear the smoke alarm(s), and strongly consider installing one inside the bedroom as well. If you suspect that there is a fire, touch the door surface before opening the door (do not touch the door handle first, it could be hot enough to burn). It is recommended that all smoke alarms are tested monthly and batteries are replaced twice a year. Replace all smoke alarms over 10 years old.
Practise your escape plan. If you see smoke on your way out, use your secondary exit. If you must escape through smoke, crawl low where the air is clearer. Practise your plan twice a year.
If you live in an apartment, always use the stairs - never use an elevator in case of a fire. The elevator could take you to the floor where the fire is burning. If fire or smoke blocks your exit, close your apartment door, but don't lock it, and cover all cracks where smoke could enter using wet towels or tape. Call 911, even if firefighters are already onsite, and tell them where you are located (what your apartment number is). Wave a sheet or towel from the window to help firefighters locate you. Never panic.
For more information on fire safety, please contact Fire Prevention at (905) 637-9536.