One of the ways to ensure fire safety is at the top of your list of importance, is by planning a successful fire escape route for your home, and having fire drills to practice, at least 3-4 times a year. Well over 4,000 people die in home fires, according to statistics, and this calls for extreme measures. Educating your children in fire safety is beneficial to them for their entire lives, and helps them to gain confidence that they are able to control some of their actions if a fire should break out. By including them in the planning, they are more aware of the route to use, as well as all of the exit points and safe points.
There are some key factors you need to keep in mind when planning your fire escape route, most importantly, is time. Time is your biggest enemy in a fire. Always remember to get out as quickly as possible. Leave no room for error, and keep moving at all times. Do not take time to grab for things around you, you life is more important, and most things can be replaced — your life cannot be. When planning your escape route, keep in mind you will need to include every room in the house. Fires are not choosy they can break out at any place at any time. By covering each room in your escape plan, you and your children will be more familiar with the layout of the house, which will enable them to react more quickly. Teach them how to remove the screens to get out of the windows, or how to use a collapsible ladder if your home is multi-story. You may want to consider small stepping stools or moveable toy boxes that smaller children are able to move to use for easier exit through a window. Make certain that any windows or doors with safety bars have quick release handles on them.
Teach your children to crawl on their hands and knees when exiting the home. All practice drills should be carried out this way also. A house you have lived in for years and years will look dramatically different through a layer of thick smoke, and from the viewpoint of your hands and knees. Explain to your children that the smoke could contain noxious gasses that may disorient you or worse yet, kill you. Remembering to feel any closed doors before opening them is another important point to keep in mind. Teach your family the rule of doors. Always feel them before opening the knob. If the door feels hot, there could be a fire on the other side. Try the knob as well, if it is hot, there is more likely than not a fire on the other side of the door. Keep moving to the next planned fire exit.
Once you have covered all the possible fire exits inside the home, and you have made it clear on the route as to where everyone should exit depending on the location of the fire or their location if they are separated from you, you must all decide on the safest designated meeting spot outside. There can be NO exceptions to this. Everyone must realize the importance of meeting at the same spot of they have made it out of the home. The reason for this being, too many people have lost their lives re-entering a burning home/building to search for a loved one they thought was still inside. By making this imperative action, the children, and you take it as a fact and act on it as fact after repeatedly practicing it. Now you have your fire escape route planned, and you have your designated meeting spot, all you need to do is practice, practice, and practice — after all, practice makes permanent, make fire safety a permanent fixture in your home.