Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Public Safety

Escape Plans for Your Home

Each family member should know what to do in the event of a fire in the home. Unless a small fire can be easily controlled, it is recommended that fighting the fire be left to the professional firefighters.

By developing and practicing your home's fire escape plan could mean the difference between life and death. Everyone in your household should understand and practice the escape plans. The escape plan should be practice at least twice a year. If you have elderly members or small children/infants in your family, assign someone in the household to assist them in exiting the home.

Household members need to react quickly when the smoke detector sounds in the home because fire and smoke can spread quickly through your home. The smoke may cause family members to be unable to see very well, become dizzy or disoriented. In the confusion, a family member could become lost or trapped in the home. If you have practiced escape plans, it may reduce the chances of panic and injury. Informed family members have a much better chance to survive a fire in the home.

  • Begin your fire escape plan by drawing a floor plan of your home. Each room should have two escape exits: the normal exit and the other exit such as a window.
  • Make sure that each household member understands the escape plan.
  • Check all windows and doors to make sure that they can be easily opened. Repair any window that is jammed. Have family members practice opening their windows to become familiar with their operation.
  • Decide on a meeting place outside of the home where all family members will gather after exiting the home. This prevents family members from wandering around or reentering the house to look for each other.
  • When choosing the meeting place, choose a spot that is enough distance away from the house such as a neighbor¡Ã˙s front yard, the mailbox or a large tree in the yard. The meeting place should be a stationary place and not an item that can be moved such as a car.
  • Call for help after you have left your home. Family members should dial 911 on a cellular phone or by using a neighbor's telephone. Never go back inside your home for any reason until the fire department gives you the O.K.

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