Just the thought of a ferocious fire destroying your home and possessions is enough to keep you up at night. Do not push the thought out of your mind. Take the time to plan ahead and be prepared for the unexpected.
Do a home inspection on a regular basis. Go beyond checking the batteries in the smoke detectors. Look for hazards such as, overloaded electrical outlets, worn extension cords, and improperly stored flammable items. Many local fire departments will come to your home to consult with you on ways to reduce your risk of a house fire. They will suggest you have fire extinguishers handy in the kitchen to stop a small fire from getting out of control. You should have more than one evacuation route. For two-story homes, you will want to purchase a compact escape ladder that will be stowed near you chosen exit window. These simple steps will help you remain calm during a fire and could save your life or the life of your loved ones.
When traveling and staying in hotels, take a few minutes to study the evacuation plain sketch for your room. Don’t smoke in bed and don’t cook in an area that is not designated for cooking. However, you are not able to control the actions of other people staying in the hotel. If there is a fire, stay calm, you have already reviewed the evacuation route and are prepared to handle the crisis. Leave your luggage. Close the door to your room and shout FIRE as you walk down the hall to the stairway. Do not use the elevator. Exit the building and find a safe location to remain until you give your statement to the fire department.
Your work place and all other public buildings are required to have a building evacuation plan. If you are in a building that catches fire, stay low and evacuate in an orderly fashion. Keep moving until you have reached the evacuation assembly point. The safety warden for the building will need to get an accurate count so they can inform the fire department that everyone is out of the building.
A few minutes of advanced planning could prevent a fire or save your life, if you are in a fire. Rather than worrying about what might happen, empower yourself by being prepared and sleep well.