Scott talked about preparation and prevention as the two biggest keys to helping first responders do their jobs.
Being prepared is one of the most important things you can do to help keep your family safe. Make sure your contact info is up to date so that the first responders can contact someone on the way to the scene or in case of a false alarm.
Have an emergency plan for your family that everyone knows. Here are some quick tips on how to develop an emergency plan.
- Everyone in the house must understand the escape plan. When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
- Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
- Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.
- Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
- If there are infants, older adults or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency.
- If windows or doors in your home have security bars make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Emergency release devices won't compromise your security - but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.
Prevention, as with most of our topics is the key component. Nobody wants to have a house fire, so here are some of the best tips for fire prevention.
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Stay in the home while simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food. Check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire—like pot-holders, towels, plastic and clothing— away from the stove.
Following these tips and communicating them with your family are great ways to help keep you and you loved ones safe.