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Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning. Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. This is a great way to get children involved in fire safety in a non-threatening way.

Planning · Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms to provide a minimum level of protection. Make sure everyone in your home knows the sound and understands the warning of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond. · Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of each level of the home. Show all doors and windows. Go to each room and point to the two ways out. Practice the plan with everyone in your household, including visitors. · Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure that someone will help them. · Teach your children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Make sure they can open windows, remove screens, and unlock doors. · Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability. · Practice your home fire drill with overnight guests. · Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open. · If a room has a window air conditioner, make sure there is still a second way out of the room. · Windows with security bars, grills, and window guards should have easy-to-use quick-release devices from inside the home if allowed in your community and approved by code as a secondary means of escape. · A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. · Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound. · If you sleep with the bedroom door closed, install smoke alarms inside and outside the bedroom. For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound. · Make sure everyone in your home knows how to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number from a cell phone or from a neighbor’s phone. · Have an outside meeting place (something permanent, like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) a safe distance in front of the home where firefighters will easily find you. · Make sure your house number can be seen from the street both day and night. · Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.

Practicing the Home Fire Drill · Push the smoke alarm button to start the drill. · Practice what to do in case there is smoke. Get low and go. Get out fast. · Practice using different ways out. · Close doors behind you as you leave. · Get out and stay out. Never go back inside for people, pets, or things. · Go to your outside meeting place. · Practice your home fire escape drill at least twice a year with everyone in your home. Practice at night and during the daytime. · After you have practiced your home fire escape drill, evaluate it and discuss what worked and what needs to be improved. Improve it and practice again.

If There Is A Fire · When the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out. Go to the outside meeting place. Call 9-1-1. · If there is smoke blocking your door or first way out, use your second way out. · Smoke is poisonous. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out. · Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, leave the door closed and use your second way out. · If there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out. · If you open a door, open it in a slow manner. Be ready to shut it if heavy smoke or fire is present. · If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call 9-1-1. Say where you are and then signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight. · If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located. · If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away. Never re-enter a burning building.

Close the Door! · A door is one of the best pieces of firefighting and lifesaving equipment. · The simple act of closing the door reduces fire growth and spread; limits damage to your home and could possibly save lives. · If you have to leave a room that is on fire, closing the door behind you can be the best decision you make. · While the two most important things to remember in the event of a fire are to get out of the building and call 9-1-1, fire officials point out that simply closing doors behind you on your way out can help stop flames and smoke from spreading to other rooms. It also deprives a fire of oxygen, helping it to slow down and allowing occupants more time to escape.

All information provided by The Fire Fatality Task Force. For more information visit the website http://www.georgiafire.org