Plan Your Escape

Plan Your Escape


According to the United States Fire Administration (USAF), fire kills more than 3,500 Americans every year and injures about 18,300.  The AVFD urges families to have escape plans they can put into action in the event of a fire.

Fire can spread very quickly producing flames and thick black smoke that trap people in their homes. When making your escape plan, keep in mind that every second counts.

The USAF Offers the following guidelines for escape planning:

  • Practice Escaping From Every Room In The Home

Practice escape plans every month. The best plans have two ways to get out of each room. If the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out. A secondary route might be a window onto an adjacent roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows. Purchase only collapsible ladders evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory. Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly and that security bars can be properly opened. Also, practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Immediately Leave The Home

When a fire occurs, do not waste any time saving property. Take the safest exit route, but if you must escape through smoke, remember to crawl low, under the smoke and keep your mouth covered. The smoke contains toxic gases which can disorient you or, at worst, overcome you.
  • Never Open Doors That Are Hot To The Touch

When you come to a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, the doorknob, and the crack between the door and door frame to make sure that fire is not on the other side. If it feels hot, use your secondary escape route. Even if the door feels cool, open it carefully. Brace your shoulder against the door and open it slowly. If heat and smoke come in, slam the door and make sure it is securely closed, then use your alternate escape route.
  • Designate A Meeting Place Outside and Take Attendance

Designate a meeting location away from the home, but not necessarily across the street. For example, meet under a specific tree or at the end of the driveway or front sidewalk to make sure everyone has gotten out safely and no one will be hurt looking for someone who is already safe. Designate one person to go to a neighbor’s home to phone the fire department.
  • Once Out, Stay Out

Remember to escape first, then notify the fire department using the 911 system or proper local emergency number in your area. Never go back into a burning building for any reason. Teach children not to hide from firefighters. If someone is missing, tell the firefighters. They are equipped to perform rescues safely.

The AVFD offers Avon homeowners a free home safety inspection that provides an outline of potential hazards in your home, and how to develop an evacuation procedure in the event of a fire or other life safety risk.  If you’d like to speak with an AVFD member about fire safety in your home, please call the Department at 677-2644 or stop by the Company 1 firehouse located at 25 Darling Drive any Monday evening after 7:00.

Click for a downloadable PDF of the USAF’s grid for preparing your family’s Fire Escape Plan.





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