KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Children practice fire drills at school, but many families forget that practice a fire safety plan at home is also important.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 58 people have died from fire in 2016. In 2015, 66 people died from house fires.
Knoxville Fire Department Captain DJ Corcoran recommends making sure every room has working smoke alarms and two exits. He recommends getting a fire extinguisher and a ladder if the second floor of a house is too high.
Concoran recommends parents remind their children that the most important thing is to get out of a house fire and not to go back in for toys or a pet. He also recommends practicing a pre-fire drill at home at least twice a year so that if a smoke alarm goes off while children are sleep there is little thinking and automatic reacting.
Web extra: Printable home fire escape grid [PDF]
Call (865) 595-4480 to have the Knoxville Fire Department come to your home to go over a pre-fire plan with your family.
Create a fire plan
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) said that you should follow the following plan of action in case of a fire:
- Make a plan with everyone in your home.
- Walk through your home and inspect all exits and escape routes.
- If you have children, draw a floor plan of your home and mark two ways out of each room, including doors and windows.
- Mark the location of each smoke alarm in your home.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside every bedroom and on every level of your home.
- Everyone in the house, including children, must understand the escape plan. Check to make sure all escape routes are clear, and doors and windows can be opened easily.
- Choose an outside meeting place, for example a neighbor’s house, a light post, or a stop sign to meet at once you’ve escaped. Mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
- Paint your house numbers on the curb or install house numbers so emergency personnel can easily find your home
- Make sure someone is assigned to assist infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations in the event of an emergency, assign a backup person too.
- Tell guests or visitors to your home about your fire safety plan.
NFPA says that residents of high-rise and apartment buildings may be safer defending in place until help arrives. Once you are out, stay out, and do not go back into a burning building under any circumstances.
Remember to practice your fire safety escape plan twice a year, making the drill as real as possible. Stay low to the ground and shut all doors and windows behind you to give yourself extra time to get out.