Regardless of where it is, space you frequently occupy needs to offer a way out that is obvious in emergency situations. That goes for grocery stores, banks, workplaces, classrooms, and fitness centers. Most of all, it goes for the home where you live. Do you really want to work things out when the house is filling with smoke and the alarms are going off?
The Elementary Three Rs: Review, Revise, Rehearse
The unwanted wake-up call is not the time to be mentally recalling what you are supposed to do; that recall needs to be automatic. That only happens with repetition, so any escape plan has to be practiced again and again. If it holds the keys to your family’s escape, it needs to be taken out, carefully reconsidered, and rehearsed, time and time again.
At a bare minimum, it should be done every time your chimney and vents are professionally cleaned, so it is on the calendar and to do list at the same time. It is not enough to prepare an escape plan, discuss it with the family, and put it in a drawer.
Where There’s Not Smoke…
Your escape plan should extend to smokeless alarms, the ones that seem to wake you for no reason. Let’s say they woke everyone up, and the plan has kicked in without effort, but there is nothing seemingly going on… nothing you can see. Which is very different than nothing, and contains something that kills way too many people every year – carbon monoxide.
Whether it is carbon monoxide poisoning or fire from which you are protecting your family, always have an escape plan. What you cannot see is as deadly as what you can, so get everyone out of the house until an emergency professional can determine what is going on. Doing that means having an escape plan that reflects current conditions in your home, and one that stays current for your life with repeated practice. If you need some ideas about where to start, give us a call, and we’d be glad to help you create a plan of escape in an emergency for your household.