Plan ahead! If a fire breaks out in your place of business or residence, you may only have a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Everyone should know what to do and where to go in case of fire.
>>DEVELOP and PRACTICE an escape plan. Create a map of your building or home showing all exits, stairways and windows. Discuss the plan and walk the escape routes with all employees and family members. For home escape plans, practice during the day and night.
>> ENSURE your house number or building number is clearly visible from the road. If it isn't, paint it on the curb or install large, visible numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your building or home.
>> KNOW at least two ways out of every area/room, if possible. Ensure that all doors and windows with outside access open easily.
>> DESIGNATE an outside meeting space a safe distance from your structure where everyone should meet.
>> GET OUT and STAY OUT when the smoke alarm sounds. Never go back inside for people, property or pets. If someone is missing, let 911 know when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment needed to perform rescues.
>> Always use the stairs, never the elevator, in case of fire. Practice using the stairs as part of your escape planning. If anyone has difficulty climbing steps, include a contingency for this into your plan.
>> Choose the safest escape route - the one with the least amount of smoke and heat. Smoke from a fire is toxic and deadly. But be prepared to escape under smoke, if necessary. Practice getting low and going under smoke to the exits.
>> If your building or home has multiple floors, you must be able to escape from the upper floors. Escape ladders can be installed in or near windows (in an easily accessible location) to provide an additional escape route. Review the instructions and practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly.
>> Call the fire department from OUTSIDE of your building or home.