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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

4 Tips for Preparing Your Home and Family for a Fire

12/8/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Escape Plan Practice your escape routes

4 Tips for Preparing Your Home and Family for a Fire

House fires are a scary reality for many families, but there are a number of ways you can be prepared. By planning and practicing your escape routes, installing the right number of smoke alarms, and teaching household members how to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire, you'll be much more likely to make it out safely.

1. Plan and Practice Your Escape Routes

Everyone needs to be on the same page about how you’re getting out of the house. That means you and your family need to have a plan, and you need to practice that plan at least twice a year.

If children are old enough, they can participate in this preparation by helping with planning and practicing their escape routes with their parents—and they should definitely do so! If they’re not old enough (or if you don’t want them included), that’s OK. You can still make sure they know where they should go when there is danger or an emergency occurring in your home.

You should also have an alternative escape route in case your primary one is blocked by fire or smoke during an evacuation attempt. For example, if everyone is escaping through a window out onto the roof, but finds that it's too hot for anyone else to follow suit without getting injured or burned (or worse), then secondary exits from another room may be necessary as well.

2. Use and Test Smoke Alarms

While there is no single rule of thumb for how many smoke alarms you should have, there are some basic guidelines. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you install one smoke alarm in each bedroom, plus one additional alarm on every level of your home. While this may seem like a lot, it's important to remember that even if you don't have children or pets living with you right now—or even if they're asleep when the fire starts—you never know who will be in the house later on.

If your home isn't currently equipped with any working smoke detectors, it's time to get started! You can purchase a do-it-yourself home protection kit from Amazon or another retailer (just search for "smoke detector"). Follow the installation instructions carefully and choose an area where it won't be obstructed by furniture or other household items. Remember: Smoke alarms should never be placed near sources of heat (such as ovens) or hazardous chemicals such as cleaning supplies.

3. Teach STOP, DROP and ROLL

There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to teaching your children the STOP, DROP and ROLL technique.

  • Make sure they understand that if their clothes catch on fire, they should stop what they're doing immediately and run away from the flames.
  • Give them examples of how this would work with different kinds of clothing (e.g., if you were running around in circles while wearing jeans or shorts).
  • Remind them that they should not try to put out the flames themselves because doing so could cause burns on their hands or arms—it's best to get away from the flames as quickly as possible and hope someone else is there who can help.

4. Act Quickly

In a house fire, you don’t have time to think. You need to react quickly and get out as fast as possible. When seconds count, the difference between life and death could be one small decision: Do I stay or do I go?

Firefighters say that 90% of home fires are caused by human error—accidents like leaving stoves on or cigarettes unattended. But when a fire starts in your home, it can spread rapidly because many materials burn quickly and release toxic fumes that can make you dizzy or unconscious within minutes. Like all emergencies, it's important for everyone in your family to know what to do when there is a fire in the house:

Although your family will never be truly prepared for a house fire, these four simple steps can help you stay safe. If a fire does occur and you are able to escape safely, remember that there are many other resources available to assist you in the aftermath of such an incident. Your local fire department will have information about what steps must be taken next if your home catches on fire or is damaged by smoke damage from an off-site source (such as another building). You may also want to contact an insurance agent who specializes in property casualty insurance claims related to residential losses.

If your Miami home is struck by a fire, give SERVPRO of Miami Lakes a call! We will be there quickly to help you get back to normal. 

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