Make home fire safety the whole family’s responsibility. Work together to come up with an emergency escape plan.
Try to include two ways to escape from each room in your home. Map out your fire plan on paper and add emergency phone numbers. Post a copy in each bedroom. Review the plan with the whole family once a month.
Retractable ladders are a necessity for bedrooms on the second floor or higher. Show everyone how to climb out of a window and down a ladder, how to crawl under smoke to escape a fire and how to cover their mouths and noses with shirts or towels to keep from breathing in smoke. Designate one family member to assist younger children, elderly relatives or pets.
Decide on a meeting spot outside and away from the house. All family members should know where to gather once they have evacuated the house.
Be sure children know what smoke and fire alarms sound like so they can recognize them during a fire. Teach the "Stop, Drop and Roll" technique for putting out a fire on their clothes or in their hair.
Keep fire extinguishers in the kitchen, garage and basement and review how to use them. To operate a fire extinguisher, just remember P.A.S.S.: Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle, Squeeze the handle and Sweep from side-to-side as it sprays to extinguish the flames. Recharge extinguishers after each test.