Have a plan to get your family to safety, says Spokane Fire Department

If flames and smoke fill your home, do you know the best route to take to make sure you get your family out quickly and safely? That’s exactly what Spokane Fire Department wants you to figure out for National Fire Prevention Week.

The message this year, “Not all heroes wear capes, plan and practice your escape.”

Every home is built differently. Meaning, no two escape plans are the same. According to firefighters, the easiest way to make a home escape plan is to write it out.

Start by drawing out your home’s floor plan. Don’t forget to mark your windows, doors, and smoke alarms.

Once that’s done, plan your escape.

“Try to find two ways out of each room, and you want to try to pick out your ideal way to get out which is your primary exit. And then if that way is blocked with heat, smoke or flames – then your second exit,” said Jamie McIntyre, Spokane Fire Department.

Typically, your door is the primary route. However, if it’s blocked, you’ll want to look at other options like your windows or other walkways.

Mark these exits onto your escape plan. Do this for every room in your home. This includes bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, etc.

You also want a clear path. Make sure there’s no furniture or clutter that could get in your way to that exit.

As a family, talk about a safe meeting place outside your house. During a fire, you might not be able to get to one another so it’s good to have a central spot you know where to find each other. This could be something like the mailbox across the street, or a tree in the front yard.

Beyond having an escape plan, firefighters also want you to practice what they call, ‘Crawl Low and Go.’ This is what you would do if a fire were to start while you’re sleeping. If you hear the smoke alarm go off and you’re in your bed, get really low to the ground and start crawling to your exit. Crawl to your primary exit, like your door, and take the back of your hand to feel if it’s warm, and check if there’s any smoke coming from the bottom.

If it’s safe, peek out to the hallway and make sure you don’t see any fire or smoke. Then you can continue crawling out to your exit. Make sure you go down the stairs feet first and make your way out to your family’s meeting place.

Spokane Fire is encouraging the community to take a few minutes and create an escape plan for your home with your family members, or roommates. They provided a sample escape plan template to make it easy, all you have to do is fill it out. You can find that template, along with more fire safety tips HERE.

Spokane Fire Department has special events happening throughout National Fire Prevention Week. Saturday, Spokane Fire and Red Cross are teaming up to install more than 500 smoke alarms in Spokane’s Garland neighborhood.

People who live in that area will get a door hanger by Tuesday afternoon. From there, they can call the phone number listed to make an appointment for a specific time to get set up with smoke alarms. Otherwise, they can catch Spokane Fire and Red Cross when they make the rounds on Saturday.