Home Fire Escape Plan
Each family member must know what to do in the event of a fire in their home. Unless a small fire can be easily controlled, it is recommended that fighting the fire be left to the Fire Department and that family members escape safely from the home.
Simply creating home escape plan is not enough. It must be practiced so that each person knows exactly what to do. It also is important to practice Exit Drills in the Home (EDITH).
Most residential fires occur between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Deaths from residential fires occur in greater numbers between midnight and 4 a.m. when most people are asleep. An average of 800 fires strike residential buildings each day in the United States. In 2007 U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated 399,000 home fires. More than 3,000 persons die each year from residential fires; more than half of them children and senior citizens. On average, in 2007 eight people died in home fires.
Danger of Smoke
Regardless of the cause of the fire, a home may be filled with smoke. This is a very dangerous situation. Family members may be unable to see very well. The smoke and toxic gases may cause dizziness and disorientation. In the confusion, one can easily become lost or trapped in the home. Family members must understand that their safety depends upon quickly leaving the home. It has been proven that exit drills reduce chances of panic and injury in fires and that trained and informed people have a much better chance to survive fires in their home.