Having smoke alarms will not guarantee 100 percent fire safety. There is still more preparation that you need to keep all the residents in your home safe. During an emergency, everyone in the home needs to know how to react once the fire is detected. Here is what you have to do to safely evacuate a home after you hear your fire alarm.
Install compliant smoke alarms that meet your special needs
It is easier said than done to avoid panicking during an emergency. However, you can reduce your natural inclination to freeze or make wrong decisions once you hear your smoke alarms. The first thing that you want to do is choose the best smoke alarms for the home. This device should not only comply with the new Queensland Smoke Alarm Legislation but also meet your needs.
The smoke alarms need to be able to get your attention, no matter if you are hard of hearing or a heavy sleeper. The faster your alarm can go off, and the sooner you can notice your smoke alarms, the more time you will have to react.
Being able to react before your life is in imminent danger will go a long way to reduce panic. But more so than simply having time, you need to know what to do with that time. The proper planning, understanding, and practice of an emergency home evacuation plan mitigate’s the instinct to freeze.
Freezing during an emergency is often due to being overwhelmed. You do not know how to react properly, so while attempting to process what you should do, you end up not reacting at all. With a good evacuation strategy, you will know what to do, and be able to fall back on the plan you have practised.
Plan Your Route
Planning an evacuation route is an exercise in understanding your risks and in home behaviour. Know where you are likely to be in the home. Where do you spend most of your time? This is the most likely area you will have to evacuate from. Then you need to anticipate what part of the home has the highest chance of catching fire.
Areas with heat sources or lots of electrical equipment are places to take note of. But seasonal threats might lead to the consideration of shrubs from the outside catching fire, or holiday lights heating up on foliage. There are also different seasonal risks that people forget about such as winter fire risks.
Once you know where you are likely to be, and the areas with the highest chance of causing a fire, you can plan your evacuation route. Make sure that your route does not take you too close to the proximity of any of the potentially hazardous rooms or parts of the home.
Interconnected smoke alarms are an important requirement under the new legislation. This ensures that everyone in the house will be warned about the fire no matter where they are in the home or where the fire started. This requirement is helpful because, in an emergency situation, you do not want to be worrying about which smoke alarms are going off. Instead, the evacuation route should be relatively universal, doing your best to avoid any of the possible hazard zones.
Know Your Exit
A route does not do you much good unless it leads to a usable exit. This is not as intuitive as it may seem. Not every exit is viable during an emergency. As part of the considerations that come along with other tips for keeping your home renter ready, you should make sure that all doors and locks on a home are reliable.
A sticking door or jamming lock can lead to tragedy when someone is trying to evacuate the home. A house fire can accelerate very quickly, so one wrong turn to a door that is not opening can be devastating. Make sure that you have an exit that will allow you to get out of the home quickly.
More than a problem with the functionality of the door or lock, you might have a lock on a door that prohibits a quick or easy exit. So you might be wondering, “What lock should I use”? Especially if that question has to do with an emergency exit. The answer is, it needs to be keyless. Thumbturns must be the primary way of unlocking the door. If the lock needs a key, it is not an emergency exit.
It takes too much time to use a lock keyed on the inside of the home during an emergency. You might also end up breaking the key or using the wrong key. Keep evacuation simple. Make sure locked doors are easy to open. The simpler you keep your exit procedure, the safer you will be.
If you can reduce your chances of panicking, it is much more likely that you will be able to leave your home unharmed, no matter the scale of the fire. Make sure that you have your exit route planned out, and that this route leads to a door that can be opened quickly during the adrenaline filled intensity of a fire. To be sure that you can get the most out of your evacuation plans, be sure that you have a quality fire alarm.
Installing smoke alarms are not enough to keep you safe! Make sure that you and your family know what to do and where to go during fire emergencies.
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