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1. Draw a floor plan of your home
2. Include all possible emergency exits
Draw in all the doors, windows and stairways to show you and your family all possible escape routes at a glance. Include any features, such as the roof of a garage or porch, that would help in your escape.
3. Show two ways out of every room, if possible.
The door will be the main exit from each room. But if the door is blocked by smoke or fire, identify an alternate escape route, which could be a window. Make sure that all windows can open easily and that everyone knows how to escape through them to safety. If windows have security bars, equip them with quick-releasing devices.
4. Does anyone need help to escape?
Decide in advance who will assist the very young, older adults or people with disabilities in your household. A few minutes of planning will save valuable seconds in a real emergency.
5. Choose a meeting place outside
Choose a meeting place a safe distance from your home that everyone will remember. A tree, street light or a neighbour’s home are all good choices. In case of fire, everyone will go directly to this meeting place so they can be accounted for.
6. Call the fire department from outside your home
Get out and stay out! Don’t waste valuable seconds calling the fire department from inside your home. Once you have safely escaped, call the fire department from a cell phone or a neighbour’s home.
7. Practice your escape
Review the plan with everyone in your household. Walk through the escape routes for each room with the entire family. Use this walk-through exercise to check your escape routes, making sure all exits are practical and easy to use. Then hold a fire drill twice a year and time how long it takes. In a real fire, you must react without hesitation as your escape routes may be quickly blocked by smoke or flames.
- Plan two ways out of every room, if possible
- Hold a fire drill twice a year
- Install smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas