Several years ago, my brother’s house caught on fire. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but the fire completely destroyed his home. Even though the fire was relegated to the kitchen area, the smoke permeated everything and nothing was salvageable. Since then, I have though a lot about what we would do if we ever had a fire in our home. This is a really important scenario for every prepper to consider and it’s something you should talk about with your children just in case it happens to you.
As preppers, we tend to focus on apocalyptic scenarios, but planning for a fire is just as important as any other type of emergency. So what are your plans for surviving a house fire? Here are some tips to start creating a family plan in case a fire ever starts in your house.
First, it is vitally important that you make sure that your smoke alarms are working. Insure that you have these alarms in every room of the house. All new construction requires that smoke detectors be placed in every bedroom, but everyone does not live in a new home. What about those, like myself, that live in a home that is over 50 years old? In this case, you will have to install the smoke alarms on your own. They are inexpensive and they could save your life.
Second, do you have fire extinguishers in your home? Many people have an extinguisher in the kitchen, but nowhere else. Fire extinguishers might not be high on your priority list of prepping supplies, but they should be. Having one in the kitchen is smart, but you also need one in the garage, bedroom, and the bathroom. Having multiple units will make it easier to combat a fire the moment it happens. If you do have fire extinguishers, regularly check that they are working and up to date.
Make an Escape Plan
Does your family have a workable escape plan? The escape plan is good for many issues but in the case of a fire it is even more important. First you need to identify the areas that a fire is most likely. From there you can plan your escape route to avoid this area if at all possible. The plan might include moving to the second or third floor and escaping through a window. It might be that you need to evacuate through the basement if possible. The idea here is to have a plan that meets your needs. It is also important, if possible, to have more than one escape route in the event that the first route is blocked.
Conduct a Fire Drill
After planning your escape and talking about where to go during a fire, it’s time to conduct your first fire drill. While this might bring back memories of grade school, it could save your life. Take the time to educate your kids and your spouse on the route you have planned and practice this route until everyone knows what to do and where to go. Good preppers know that perfect practice makes perfect.
Think About Problem Areas
Where should you be looking out for a fire? Obviously the kitchen is the first place that comes to mind. The kitchen has several appliances that could malfunction or be left on. The oven, the microwave, even a dishwasher could cause a fire. Then there is the garage. This is the home of items such as the hot water heater and the car. These items have electronics that could malfunction, spark, and cause a fire. While these are the most obvious locations, you really need to be prepared in every room because you never know what could start a blaze.
Teach Kids to Call For Help
Make sure your children know what to do to call for help if there is a fire and they cannot reach you. If you have older children that stay home alone, teach them to get out of the house first and then call for help using a cell phone or by running to the neighbor’s house. Even a two year old can learn how to dial 9-1-1 and this simple call could save a life.
What has your family done to prepare for a house fire?