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Everyone needs an escape plan! Our homes are our comfort zones; a place where we can relax and feel safe. However, there are certain cases where our homes and even our lives can be put at risk. Disasters, whether man-made or natural can happen without warning. When an emergency strikes, it is best to have a concrete plan that can keep your family out of harm’s way. Fires can either be man-made or caused by a natural occurrence which can, unfortunately, cause serious damage to property or even death. Don’t feel guilty if you haven’t created an escape plan yet.
In emergency cases like fire, it’s important to understand that every second counts. A recent data from First Alert Research Report in June 2016 (based on the responses of 1,000 +, 25 years old and above respondents in the United States) have revealed that 43% of homeowners have their own emergency escape plan while only 33% have discussed the importance of fire safety in their family.
My family’s emergency plan is Plan. Practice. Repeat. Our schedules are quite unpredictable but One thing that remains constant is that repetition is key to helping toddlers feel secure and less resistant to change in an emergency. We’ve devised our emergency plan in such a way that it can be applicable to almost any type of case. As they say, it is better to come prepared than to regret in the end.
Guideline in Creating an Effective Emergency Plan
With the help of First Alert, our family created a simple escape plan by drawing a map of our home which shows all the escape routes like windows and doors. I asked my husband’s help in creating the map since he’s good at that sort of thing. Since we have a two-story home, it was important for us to figure out and practice using the escape ladder. You can get helpful information on home safety and how to set up your family evacuation plan here
Important Safety Tips for the Family
I figured that our emergency plan will only be effective if everyone understands the process. During our practice runs, I would always make sure that my kids understand the purpose but so as not to frighten them. It is best that they are well-equipped with the right skills and knowledge so we can all be better prepared if the unfortunate time comes. Having an emergency plan is very important for every household but it is also crucial to have the necessary protection and safety tools at home. Here are the following safety measures that every homeowner should practice:
- Since moving out of my parent’s house, my mom has often reminded me to keep a Carbon Monoxide detector in our home. I love that First Alert’s created a combination fire and carbon monoxide detector.
- Invest in the best fire safety and prevention tools such as smoke alarms, CO detectors and fire extinguishers. You can easily find all these products at from First Alert here and as well as helpful safety reminders.
Did you know that 3 out of 5 home fire deaths are a result of defective smoke alarms? This is quite alarming and can easily be preventable which is why it is very important to install the best tools that can prevent a huge disaster from happening. The National Fire Protection Association recommends having smoke alarms in every level of the house including the basement and most especially inside and outside the bedrooms. It is also necessary to install carbon monoxide alarms and always test the devices on a regular basis to make sure that they are still working just fine. Fire extinguishers must be placed in every level, especially in the kitchen area.
- Check your fire safety and prevention tools yearly to make sure they are functional.
- Create an emergency kit for the whole family which includes water and food supplies. This would be very handy in situations when you may need to evacuate due to flood or any other similar disaster. The emergency kit must also include non-perishable items like flashlight, battery-powered radio and batteries. You can also add a first-aid kit which contains basic medicine, dust mask and whistle. You may also consider a few other items depending on the needs of your family which is why conducting a home assessment will help a great deal.
- Designate a meeting spot for everyone and if you have older kids who can manage on their own, then you can also teach them how to escape on their own. It is also very important to keep your important documents sealed.
- Make a list of contact numbers of your relatives and as well as insurance policy numbers that can be accessed outside of the home like a neighbor’s or friend’s house.
Emergencies and disasters can happen anywhere and although there may be instances where they cant be prevented; but it’s best to be prepared at all times. There really is no one-size-fits-all disaster plan which is why it’s best to customize it according to the needs of your family and home.