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FairfaxFairfax fire officials urge families to update escape plans

Fairfax fire officials urge families to update escape plans

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Having a working smoke alarm is just one important part of an overall plan to survive if your home catches fire, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department officials said.

Another important part is a home fire-escape plan. Make sure your plan includes:

• Working smoke alarms.
• Two exits from each room.
• An outside meeting place.
• The emergency phone number for your local fire department.
• Alternatives for any family member needing extra assistance.

Practice your plan with all members of your household regularly, at least twice a year. Review and revise this plan twice per year and whenever there are any changes in your household, such as with sleeping arrangements, a new baby, etc.

In addition:

• Be sure that everyone in your home can unlock and open windows if they are a part of your plan.
• If your windows have security bars, are they equipped with inside quick-release devices?
• Be certain that children can reach and open all door and window locks included in their part of the plan.
• When practicing your fire-escape plan, explain that the firefighter’s job is to rescue anyone trapped inside, so don’t hide.
• Visit a fire-and-rescue station with your children to meet the firefighters and learn about their job.
• Emphasize that the firefighters and rescue personnel are your friends and helpers.
• Give your child an opportunity to see and recognize a firefighter in uniform and the protective clothing they wear, known as “turn-out gear.”
• It is important that children not run or hide when they require assistance during an emergency. Once the plan is complete, take the time to test it by having a home fire drill. Also, make sure you practice your plan at least twice a year.

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