No one ever plans to have a house fire, but in the event that one does spark, it’s important to be prepared. According to the National Fire Protection Association, your ability to get out of a house fire depends on advance planning and smoke alarm warning. Part of preparing is to make sure you conduct regular maintenance on your home’s appliances, like your chimney. Skipping your annual chimney sweep can leave you at risk of a flu fire. So, being the chimney experts that we are, we wanted to remind everyone how you can create a fire escape plan for your home.
1. Gather everyone in the household and form a plan.
Do a walk through and identify all possible exits. If you have children, it’s best to draw a floor plan of your home and mark designated exits and smoke alarms. You can download the NFPA’s fire escape plan here. This a good way to get children informed and involved in the process in a non-threatening way. Once you draw a layout of your house, choose one designated fire escape route and mark it clearly on your map. Make sure everyone can easily find this route.
2. Check smoke alarms regularly
Every bedroom should have a working smoke alarm as well as every level of the home and outside every bedroom. It’s important to make sure all of your home’s smoke alarms are working properly so that they will sound in case the event of a fire occurs. The NFPA recommends testing all smoke alarms at least once a month.
3. Have an outside meeting place
Designate a safe place outside of your home to have everyone meet at. This can be a mailbox, a stop sign, a tree, etc. Once you’ve designated a place, be sure to mark it on your fire escape plan.
4. Walk through your fire escape plan
Once you come up with a fire escape plan, make sure everyone in the household understands the plan. Do a “test run” of the plan to make sure it’s efficient and everyone understands it. Especially children.
5. Prepare for the worst
In the event that a chimney fire or house fire is preventing you from exiting your home, practice the “sealing yourself in for safety” method as part of your escape plan. The important thing in creating a fire escape plan is to be prepared for anything.
6. Make sure everyone knows the emergency number for your fire department
Last, but certainly not least, is to make sure everyone in your home knows to call 911 to report a fire emergency.
Remember, a clogged chimney can be a huge fire hazard. So, make sure to get your annual chimney sweep and inspection to keep your home safe. Call us today to schedule an appointment!