Planning ahead provides 2 important benefits, safety and a piece of mind.
Like any good escape plan, it is designed to alert residents, baby sitters and guests to all possible exits at a glance. To design your own plan, draw your floor plan on a piece of paper. Post your plan where it can be easily seen, and be sure to include:
All Doors and Windows - label any that might be difficult to escape
through. This would be a good time to break away old paint and make sure
windows open easily. Look for keyed-deadbolt locks that prevent
emergency escape, or window bars. Basement bedrooms often lack adequate
means of escape and are usually against building and fire codes.
Primary and Alternate Exits are needed from each room. If the alternate exit is a windows be sure that the room occupants can open it easily. Practice opening it before an emergency arises.
Outdoor Features that may hinder escape - balcony, roof, tree, bushes. If escape is from a second floor window, is there a fire escape ladder below the window and ready for use?
Central Meeting Place - Many people are killed every year re-entering burning buildings because they thought someone is still inside. Every member of your family should know to get out and meet at the tree out front or the fire hydrant next door or whatever spot you've chosen.
Fire Department Phone Number - Have your fire department's emergency number posted on the plan and near every phone. In Garden City, the number for Fire, EMS or Police emergencies is 911.
Install and check your Smoke Detectors. Batteries should be changed every 6 months, or when you set your clocks for daylight savings time. Detectors older than 10 years should be replaced as their sensors can lose their effectiveness. Smoke detectors are the single biggest advance in fire safety in many years.