Public Information Officer
You never know when a fire will strike. That is why it is so important to have an escape plan. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be prepared for an evacuation: plan your escape, be prepared, get out and stay out.
Plan Your Escape
• Draw a floor-plan of your home, marking two ways out of every room.
• Agree on a meeting place outside your home where every member of the household will gather.
• Practice the escape plan at least twice a year, and pretend that some of the exits are blocked and that the lights are out.
• Make sure everyone in the household can unlock all doors and windows, even in the dark.
• If you live in an apartment building, use the stairs. Never use the elevator during a fire.
• Make special arrangements for children, older adults, and people with disabilities.
• Install smoke alarms outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home.
• Be sure to test your smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
• Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.
• In case of fire, don't stop for anything.
• If you encounter smoke when using your primary exit, use an alternate escape route.
• If you must exit through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees.
• Doors need to be tested before opening them. Use the back of your hand to see if the door is warm. If it is, use another escape route.
• If you are trapped, close all doors between you and the fire. Stuff the cracks around the doors with clothes or towels to keep out smoke. Wait at a window and signal for help with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
• Once you are out, stay out. Don't go back inside for any reason.
• If people or pets are trapped, the firefighters have the best chance of rescuing them.
“Having an escape plan does save lives,” said John Valenzuela, Tempe Assistant Chief for Fire Prevention and Public Education. “All too often we see people scrambling at a fire scene frantically trying to find loved ones. This could easily be avoided by having an escape plan and practicing it.”
In case of a fire, call 9-1-1. For more information, visit www.tempe.gov/fire.
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