Fires kill thousands of people every year and cause billions of dollars in damage. Having working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are essential in trying to minimise the damage that fires can cause, but most people don’t realise how quickly a fire can intensify and spread, making it extremely difficult to escape if you don’t act immediately. The American Red Cross Associate revealed that over half a million structures caught on fire in 2015, causing over $7 billion in damages.1
Having working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home or office is excellent, but do you really know how to evacuate safely if a fire starts? With all the electrical sockets and potential fire hazards in our homes and offices, fires can ignite from literally anywhere. Understanding where you can evacuate from every room of your home or office is essential fire safety training, and every person that regularly frequents a structure should be aware of these evacuation routes in the event they get isolated from the rest of the group.
This is why every home and office should have a reliable fire escape plan that is practiced at least twice a year. You may be surprised to know that only 26% of American households have developed and practiced a fire escape plan.1 So if you don’t already have one to protect you and your family or colleagues, this article will detail exactly what a fire plan is and how you can create one today.
Fire Escape Plans
Developing a fire escape plan isn’t a difficult task if you know how to do it correctly. Firstly, you’ll need a floor plan template for your home or office which can be downloaded by clicking here. Print this template on either an A4 or A3 piece of paper for each floor. It’s important that everyone in your house or office is involved in developing your fire escape plan. Not only will they be able to contribute in making it as effective as possible, but it will also ensure that they are familiar with the plan themselves.
Next, draw a detailed floor plan of each floor of your home or office, including where doors and windows are located in every room. Walk through every room and inspect all possible escape routes and exits that can be used. It’s important to note that there should be at least two evacuation points from every room, so if a fire is blocking one exit, then the other can be used to escape. Screens and windows must be able to be opened easily in the event of a fire, so if you have security bars covering them, ensure they have emergency release devices installed.
Once all evacuation points have been identified, everyone must familiarise themselves with the fire escape plan by practicing evacuation from various areas of your home or office. Test evacuations should be performed at least twice a year. Your floor plan should also detail a safe assembly point outside your home or office, such as the letterbox, so once everyone has been evacuated and accounted for, the Fire Department can be notified.
Smoke Detectors & Fire Extinguishers
It’s critical that your smoke detectors are working by testing them on a monthly basis and replacing the batteries every year. Smoke detectors should be installed in every sleeping room of your house, outside each sleeping room, and on every floor of your house. Smoke detectors should also be interconnected, so if one alarms sounds, they all sound. An ABE Dry Powder fire extinguisher should also be conveniently located on each floor of your home to assist in your evacuation.
Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in an office environment are more complicated, so it’s recommended that you seek assistance from your local fire specialists as to how many your office requires and where they should be installed. Appropriate training should also be provided in the proper use of fire extinguishers, along with which extinguishers are suitable for various causes of fires. If you need any advice or guidance with this, get in touch with King Fire Protection Specialists at https://www.kingfire.com.au/
Unfortunately, many people have a false sense of security with smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. While they will alert you to a fire and help you evacuate, the most important aspect in fire safety is your fire escape plan. If every occupant is familiar with all the evacuation points from every room, then the chances of surviving a house or office fire are greatly increased.