Almost as soon as children are back in school, administrators and teachers begin talking about and practicing safety drills. Do you remember lining up quickly and walking quietly outside when the fire alarm sounded in school? Remember the buddy system for making sure everyone got out safely? Remember that spot on the playground where you, your classmates and your teacher met when the alarm sounded?
You need the same kind of plan for your house and you need to do the same things to make sure it’s effective. Here are a few steps you can take to create your own home safety plan:
1. Make sure everyone knows what the alarm sounds like.
This may seem silly but just because a loud ringing occurs, that doesn’t mean everyone will recognize its significance.
2. Designate a spot in the house to gather in case of an emergency.
It should be somewhere sturdy and away from windows like an interior closet or bathroom. Remember that you shouldn’t go outside in some emergencies so it’s important that everyone knows where to meet inside if necessary.
3. Designate a meeting spot outside your house.
Find a place that’s easy to remember where everyone knows to go (under a certain tree or beside a birdbath or swing, for example). Make sure everyone who lives in your house, no matter how old they are, knows to meet there if there is ever a fire in your house.
4. Draw the escape plan.
Young children are visual learners and need to see the plan. Have them help you draw the escape route from their bedroom or the kitchen. Teach them that this is a way to handle an emergency and give them some control. You are trying to protect your family, not scare them.
5. Practice your plan.
Just like in school, have planned and unplanned practices. Make sure everyone gets outside before you talk about any challenges they experienced. Allow your children to organize a practice, too, and make sure they know where to meet and will go directly to the designated spot without stopping to collect toys or games along the way.
There are other steps you can take depending on the age of your child. For example, if everyone is old enough and able, make sure they know how to call 911 and can use a fire extinguisher or escape ladder.
Your children will be used to practicing in the event of an emergency at school. Having a similar plan for home can provide an extra layer of protection for your most valuable asset – your family.
If you have experienced fire damage or loss to your property, FirstCall Claims can help you get the most from your insurance policy. Call us for a free consultation at 615.724.2424.