I’m sure most of you out there didn’t know about this, but we are in the middle of Fire Prevention Week, which is a real thing that is happening while Napa Valley burns down. FEMA and U.S. Fire would like you and your family to have some sort of fire plan in place and their timing couldn’t be better or, frankly, more chillingly spot on.
However, it’s not enough to know how to get out of your house, even if you have planned it out. It’s best and most life-saving to plan TWO ways out and to go ahead and practice your escape routes. Make sure everyone in your family –from the youngest to the oldest– knows what you’re doing and feels like they are a part of the strategy. Also, make sure you have a designated person to care for the pet or pets in your house. FEMA and the United States Fire Administration want everyone to plan for this distressing but very real possibility.
Here are their guidelines:
Escape Plan Essentials:
- Talk about your fire escape plan with your family.
- Together, draw a map of your home, including all doors and windows.
- Find two ways out of each room. Mark these on your map.
- Make sure windows and doors open easily from the inside and are not blocked.
- Choose a place in front of your home where firefighters can see you. Everyone will meet at this place after they escape.
- Practice your fire drill with everyone in your home. Go to your meeting place. Only dial 9-1-1 in a real emergency.
- Practice your drill at least twice a year.
Access the escape plan essentials infographic on the USFA website: www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/2017fpw_infographic.pdf
Make sure everyone can unlock doors and open windows. If you have security bars you need quick-release devices inside. Practice using all escape routes in your home. Practice unexpected situations, like having to escape through a room with smoke: crawl low, under the smoke, to your exits. Practice going to your meeting place. Everyone should know how to dial 9-1-1 to report a fire. Don’t dial 9-1-1 when you’re practicing.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week and home fire escape planning, please visit: www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/fpw.html. Follow USFA on Twitter at @USfire and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfire.
Local resources: Fire prevention inspection from DC Fire Marshall: https://fems.dc.gov/service/fire-prevention-inspection
Learn about fire safety: https://fems.dc.gov/page/fems-fire-safety-education
Remember our beloved Frager’s and our beloved Tune Inn and our beloved Eastern Market and our beloved Argonaut (RIP). Remember all the fires that take lives and hurt those on the line of duty, like the fire at 8th and F Streets NE at the end of the summer. Make sure you have
a plan TWO PLANS in place. We love you, Capitol Hill.