THERE IS LITTLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WORKPLACE FIRE ESCAPE PLAN & A HOME FIRE EVACUATION PLAN.
In our everyday roles as fire safety training providers the most fundamental principal we teach when considering fire behaviour is an effective evacuation plan in the workplace.
Fire evacuation plan/fire evacuation procedures is what we teach countless employers and their key staff across the country.
Even though domestic fire safety training is not part of what we do when educating people in the principal workplace, we feel it is not something we can or should shy away from on-line.
YOUR HOME EVACUATION PLAN | SMOKE DETECTION
We went into considerable detail in a previous post about smoke alarms, how they function and their critical importance in every private dwelling and business in the country. To have them in place and working order is the very first thing you need to consider when implementing what is often a simply constructed house evacuation plan.
Smoke inhalation can kill you while you sleep in 2 minutes.
The scary thing is that while you sleep, even the smallest amounts of noxious smoke can inevitably bring you into a profoundly deep state of slumber.
Eventually and very quickly this can (and does) lead to absolute unconsciousness and inevitably death from poison fumes. In these sad cases, people who have died from smoke inhalation while they slept never knew a thing about it.
Having fully functioning fire alarms in proper place is critical!
MAKE A HOUSE FIRE EVACUATION PLAN
A fire evacuation plan for home is in principal & practice no different from having an escape plan in a business setting.
The key words here are plan & escape and in that order!
Raging fire can take hold and spread over large areas in precious seconds. Try imagine being caught up in a bleak scenario where thick acrid smoke is pluming causing not only limited visibility but breathing difficulties. Combine this with burning flames & intense heat, etc. well without some former knowledge of possible escape routes, that is precisely the definition of a personal hell of a terrifying situation to be in.
This is exactly why fire warden training is a legal requirement in business.
Consequently, who provides the fire marshal training in your home?
If you value your own life and that of your family, it is incumbent upon yourself to inform, teach & prepare everybody in your private domain on what exactly it is they need to know and how to proficiently execute it in the case of a fire emergency.
TAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS
Make the fire escape route plan and practice it.
An evacuation plan in house is even more important if you have someone with additional needs that may find it more challenging to naturally make it through a specific set of predesignated escape routes.
Education and practice are the key components in your house fire escape plan and will ultimately determine how you will get out confidently with your family in the valuable seconds before it usually takes a home to become completely engulfed in flames.
Understanding the layout of your floor is important & especially if you have to crawl your way to safety.
The top floor view above is pretty straight forward in terms of what is visible to the eye. Rooms, doors, windows and the staircase. Now imagine a fire has begun, or it is in the process of starting & churning out thick smoke. We try to simulate this as best we can in the same image directly below. See the difference? Or rather cant see, or breathe and are panic stricken simultaneously. Where are the doors, windows and staircase now?
AN EVACUATION PLAN HOUSE DRAWING IS SIMPLE & LIFE SAVING!
You don’t have to engage the services of an architect to create a floor plan drawing nor is a drawing entirely necessary however, what is of fundamental importance is everybody in your household properly understands the specific layout whether walking, running or crawling their way to safety. This can only be achieved by practicing a house emergency escape plan.
Here‘s how to make your home evacuation plan:
- Always, in the event of fire in the home at the first opportunity call the local emergency services.
- If the staircase is your escape route make sure to count & know the number of steps so you’ll know when you’re at least approaching floor level.
- As mentioned, be fully aware of the unique layout of your floor, its doors and window placements.
- Plan at least two escape routes.
- Make sure nothing impedes your fire escape route by carefully keeping them clear at all times.
- Your doors and windows may have keys (always make sure they are accessible)
- If possible, promptly close a door behind you if you exit a room.
- In heavily smoke filled situations go to ground and crawl to the nearest possible exit (Air is cleaner at ground level.)
- If you become trapped in a room, shut the door and strategically place a blanket, coats, cushions, etc., at the bottom of the door to seal and prolong smoke from inevitably entering.
- If there is a window, go to it and start shouting for urgent assistance.
- If no other options are available and acting as a last resort – you may have to consider exiting the window by hanging at arms length and intentionally dropping to the ground. This is, of course, dependent on your floor height.
- You may also have to consider lowering children out in the same way but never ever leave first and expect a child to follow you.
- Never, under any desperate circumstances go back into a burning house.
In a workplace evacuation plan, it is practiced regularly. Your home fire escape plan should be no different.