According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, there are reportedly on average 2,275 home fires in Minnesota every year. With statistics like that, it is essential to have a plan in place to ensure the safety and well-being of your family in case of a fire emergency. This comprehensive fire safety plan is designed to assist you in preparing for and responding to a fire emergency. Follow Green Clean’s official step-by-step guide below, to safeguard your family and property in case of a fire.
Step 1: Define Your Family’s Needs
Start by sitting down with your family members and discussing their concerns and priorities. Consider the specific needs of each family member, such as children, elderly relatives, or individuals who have requirements special to them. Discuss the safety of pets and consider their needs during an evacuation. Understanding your family’s unique circumstances and concerns is the foundation of a successful family fire safety plan.
After having a complete understanding of your unique family dynamic, the next step is assigning roles. Decide verbally who’s responsible for calling emergency 911 services, who will help young children, who will assist those with mobility issues, and who will get pets out safely. Always assign a backup person(s) for each task in case the person originally assigned is hurt or not present. Ensure each family member has a buddy to help in case of separation during evacuation. And finally, establish a safe meeting point outside your home where everyone can regroup after escaping. See our Fire Safety Plan printable resource sheet to put this all in writing and post in a location where everyone can see it.
Ensure your family knows who to call in case of emergency. Have the local fire department’s number (911) and the non-emergency number saved on all family members’ phones. Then compile a list of contacts for nearby relatives, friends, and school or work contacts who can offer assistance or shelter during an emergency.
When developing an evacuation plan, having a map of your home is helpful. Label rooms for young children and make sure to identify multiple escape routes from every room in your home. This includes windows and doors. For upper floors, provide escape ladders that can be easily deployed. And regularly practice evacuating your home using these escape routes.
Although your first thoughts during a fire is to get yourself and everyone out safely, you may have certain items strategically placed around your home. Having a fire extinguisher, extra flashlights and batteries, a first-aid kit, and possibly blankets. MN winters are harsh so having access to these items while emergency services arrive is helpful. This also applies to medications. Ensure you have a supply of necessary medications for each family members.
It’s also necessary to keep vital documents like birth certificates, insurance policies, and identification in a fireproof safe or secure off-site location.
Practice is the best way to see how functional and effective your plan is. Conduct fire drills at least twice a year to ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. Always make adjustments according to how successful your practice fire evacuation was.
When it comes to children, it’s best to practice at night. Talk to each child and let them know you will be practicing your fire escape plan prior to going to bed. Never practice with children at night if you have not warned them in advance. This can frighten and cause them to panic. You don’t want to encourage fear, but rather a carefully executed practice drill to encourage success by everyone.
Regularly check and replace carbon monoxide and smoke alarm batteries. It’s recommended to replace alarms every ten years or according to the expiration date marked on the back.
Protecting your family from the devastating effects of a fire is a responsibility we all share. By following and creating your own fire safety plan, you can greatly improve your family’s safety and preparedness. Ensure your loved ones’ safety and well-being during an unexpected breakout of a fire or other emergency situation.
Green Clean is here to support you in your commitment to fire safety. The key to success is communication, practice, and adaptability. And remember, preparedness today can save lives and property tomorrow. Stay safe, and let’s keep Minnesota families secure from fire hazards!Prev: October is National Fire Safety MonthNext: Water Damage Risks for Empty Minnesota Homes in WinterView All Resources