Do You Practice Fire Drills Regularly?

If you live in or have ever lived in a multi-residential building, you have experienced, at least one time or another, monthly fire alarm testing or fire drills. In grade school, fire drills became a routine when it was necessary to stop what you were doing and be ushered out of the classroom in an organized fashion when the alarm sounded. Many workplaces often exercise precautionary fire drills as well. However, just how many families are practicing fire drills at home?

Fire Drills

During National Fire Prevention Week, our team here at Mircom would like to shed some light on the importance of preparing for emergencies where you spend the most amount of time – at home.

  1. Your ability to plan for an emergency relies heavily on the effectiveness of your smoke detection device. Read our last blog on smoke alarm maintenance and how routine check-ups can save lives.
  2. Get everyone in your household together and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible escape routes and exits. Make sure doorways and windows are clear of any obstructions and can be opened with ease.
  3. Teach children the importance of fire safety. Have young children draw a map of the house, illustrating where smoke alarms and planned emergency exits are located. Remember, closed doors slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
  4. Choose a meeting place outdoors. This can be a neighbor’s house, a mailbox or a stop sign. Get everybody on board and make sure the entire household understands the plan.
  5. If you have a member in your household with limited mobility, make sure you assign an individual to assist them in the event of an emergency.
  6. Always be prepared. When you hear a smoke alarm sounding, leave the building right away. This is especially important in multi-residential buildings. Do not take any chances. Treat all signs and drills as potential emergencies.
  7. Once you’re of the building, stay out. Do not, under any circumstances, go back into the building. If you notice that someone is missing, inform the fire department right away. Firefighters are equipped with the knowledge and gear to perform rescues on any individuals trapped in the building.
  8. Practice your fire escape plan twice a year. Make the drills are real as possible. The purpose of the drill is to practice, not scare, however. The more times you run through the fire drills, the less panic and more preparedness there will be in the event of a real emergency.
  9. If smoke or fire is preventing you from leaving your home, it is wise to “seal yourself in for safety.” This means closing all doors that are in between you and the fire, using towels or duct tape to seal door cracks, and covering air vents to prevent smoke from coming through.
  10. Always keep a flashlight in every room. This is especially important if you are trapped inside a room. You can wave your flashlight through the window to signal to the fire rescue team that there is somebody trapped inside.

For more information on fire prevention and safety tips, please visit www.nfpa.org.