Home Protection: Fire Safety

Guest post by Thomas Bryant, a licensed Fire Protection professional, who blogs at Cube 2 Farm

House fire

Image by Ada Be

Protecting and defending your home has much more to do with your family than your possessions. The lives inside your home are the most precious gifts you have. So, how do you protect them from the most prolific danger out there?

First and foremost let me emphasize how important it is to involve and engage your children in the family discussions and activities regarding fire safety. Let them know it is normal and OK to be scared. Fire is scary. Arm your children with knowledge, tools, and confidence so they will act even when they are afraid.

Create a Fire Escape Plan

FEP Preparation
  • Purchase escape ladders for each upper level bedroom. Two story KL-2S and three story KL-3S models available. They can be purchased at home centers and Amazon. These ladders range in price from $30-$75 each.
  • Purchase fire extinguishers for each level of your home -5lb minimum size.  For the purpose of a FEP fire extinguishers are for clearing a path for escape and NOT for putting out the fire. Click HERE for interactive training from Tyco.
  • Purchase and properly install smoke detectors.  I recommend interconnected smoke /carbon monoxide detectors with voice alerts.  All interconnected detectors will go into alarm if any one detector senses smoke or carbon monoxide.  They are wireless and easy to install.  Test monthly and change batteries twice a year – during Daylight Saving time changes.

Create the Fire Escape Plan (FEP) with your children and everyone living in the home.

  • Draw out the floor plan of your home – all floors and basement
  • Identify two escape routes from each room
  • Make sure doors and windows open easily and everyone knows how to operate them.
  • Walk the escape paths with everyone
  • Identify a meeting place outside the home. Everyone will meet at this spot.
  • Practice your plan and practice using escape ladders (from a 1st floor window)
  • Conduct fire drills every month. Actually set off your smoke alarms and execute your fire escape plan. You may look silly to your neighbors, but your family will be safe
  • Practice with lights out and/or blind folded. Smoke is thick and dark and will impair your vision. Practice crawling the escape routes as well. You may have to crawl below the smoke during your escape.
  • Have your kids explain the fire escape plan to their friends sleeping over.
Your Fire Escape Plan must include quick access to a cell phone and car keys at an egress point to take outside with you.  Always keep one vehicle outside of an attached garage.  Also consider keeping a backpack in that car with a change of clothes and flipflops/slippers/shoes for each family member.

There is no time to grab necessities on your way out. You only have 3 minutes to escape the fire before toxic fumes and gases reach fatal levels. In 5 minutes the smoke and heat will sear your lungs and your home will be filled with deadly thick dark smoke – you are no longer able to breathe or see. Your home will be fully engulfed in flames within ten minutes.

ESCAPE QUICKLY AND NEVER GO BACK INSIDE A BURNING HOME to retrieve valuables, keepsakes, or pets!

Call 911 after everyone is out of the building safely and at the designated meeting place.  Put kids in their carseats while you wait for emergency personnel to ensure they don’t return to the house.

TommyFor more information and resource links check out Tommy, the RockstarDad, at Cube2farm.  Tommy is a licensed security and fire safety professional with 20 years experience designing, installing, and maintaining residential, commercial, and industrial security, fire protection and life safety systems. He has obtained the highest certification level from NICET in Fire Protection Technologies.

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

(5) Readers Comments

  1. I have seen televised test results that show children do not always hear smoke detectors going off if they are sleeping. Take this into account in your escape plan.

  2. Great post and a good reminder.

    Another thing to think about is if your smoke detector is older then 10 years and your carbon monoxide detector is older then 5 years you may need to replace it (check the manual). Also there are 2 types of smoke detectors, one that senses fast moving fires and one that senses smoldering fires. It would be helpful to have both installed in your house.

  3. Cheryl is correct. When our smoke alarms went off about 2 hours after everyone went to bed, I was the only one to hear it. I had to wake up my husband and four children That is an uneasy feeling.

  4. This Awesome Tommy! Great information for families!

  5. Thanks so much for giving the link to the tyco test. It was really beneficial to me. I would suggest it for anyone who has not had experience in using extinguishers.

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