Thank you First Alert for sponsoring this family emergency escape plan post. Plan, practice, and repeat your escape plan with First Alert!
A few months back before Nolan arrived, Dan and I went through and updated our smoke detectors with the The First Alert 10-year sealed battery alarms. We involved Aiden in the process to help him feel included in the preparations for bringing home our new baby. Updating the smoke alarms led us to the larger conversation of what would happen if there was a fire and the alarms would go off. Through this process we learned turned to the resources provided by First Alert on their website and a kit of helpful products they sent to help us out.
This is how we created our Family Emergency Escape Plan:
Download the Escape Planning Sheet:
Our first step was to download the Escape Planning Sheet PDF and print it out. We walked through the whole house as a family and had Aiden show us where all the doors and windows are in each room. We talked about how we could use the doors and windows to get out of the room and made it a goal to find two ways out of each room.
2. Map Out your Home:
We then sat down and mapped out our home on the planning sheet highlighting all the doors and windows we just identified. We made sure to add in big furniture pieces as landmarks so Aiden would no exactly where to go.
3. Choose a Meeting Spot:
Our next step was to determine a meeting spot that was a safe distance away from our home, but easily remembered. We let Aiden choose from a number of options. He really liked that he got to choose the spot and we know he will remember it if we ever need to use it. This is especially important if there is ever a situation where he gets out but we don’t for some reason.
Once the plan was in place it was time to practice. The recommendation is to practice your family emergency escape plan at least twice a year. At least for now, we have been practicing it more. We’ve tried it at various times (morning, during the day, in the evening) — just to make sure it sticks. Plus, Aiden is never one to give up the opportunity to wear a fire hat.
Remember – Plan. Practice. Repeat.
Having a plan is great, but the real key is making sure the necessary protection is installed. I learned a lot through this process about how many smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, and fire extinguishers are actually needed for adequate protection. The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home (including the basement if you have one) and inside and outside each sleeping area. One easy way to remember this is every level, every bedroom.
In addition to having the alarms they also need to be tested regularly — at least every six-months. Alternatively you can upgrade to any of the 10-year sealed battery alarms which is what we did. There is no need to replace the battery for the life of the alarm (crucial for busy parent with baby brain) plus no late-night battery chirps.
We talked through all of the products included in the Emergency Escape Plan First Alert sent us with Aiden and explained how they work. That way, if he ever hears something go off he knows to execute the emergency escape plan.
Family Emergency Escape Plan Essentials:
When preparing your home for emergencies you will want to include the following products:
- Smoke Alarm: First Alert offers a variety of smoke alarm options. There is the two-in-one smoke and carbon monoxide alarm with 10-year sealed battery and a slim, easy-to-install smoke alarm which is half as thick as a standard smoke detector and has the 10-year sealed battery.
- Carbon Monoxide Alarm: In addition to the two-in-one smoke and carbon monoxide alarm mentioned above, First Alert also has a carbon monoxide alarm that required no installation and can be placed on a table top.
- Fire Extinguisher: The First Alert 1-A:10-B:C Rechargeable Home Fire Extinguisher features a durable metal head designed to meet demanding needs and a rechargeable compliance unit. It is ideal for use in any household location and designed to fight wood; paper; fabric; flammable liquid and electrical fires. Place a fire extinguisher on every level of the home, especially on the main level near the kitchen. Other areas that could use a fire extinguisher are the laundry room, garage, near bedrooms, and by a grill if you have one.
- Escape Ladder: If you live in a two story home an emergency escape ladder is a must-have in case your exit is blocked. The First Alert Escape Ladder is a fully assembled 24-foot fire escape ladder made of durable steel and nylon. It can safely hold up 375 pounds at a time and has slip-resistant rungs and steel stabilizers that provide a steady foothold.
When it comes to my family’s safety I don’t want to take chances. I know teaching emergency preparedness at an early age will benefit my children. In the event of an emergency, every second counts. That’s why I’ve made it a priority to plan and practice our family emergency escape plan and discuss fire safety with the entire family.