Security and Safety

Your Family’s Fire Emergency Plan

By Callie Leahy 6.12.17

Lightning strikes, cooking, electrical shorts, unattended candles — house fires can start for any number of reasons. But did you know a fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds in 2015? Structure fires resulted in more than 2,600 deaths and 13,000 injuries that same year. 

Don’t be caught without a plan of action in the event of a fire. Have a family plan in place so you all know what to do if an emergency strikes.

Teach Kids Fire Safety

  • Teach kids to dial 911. This is a vital step in protecting your family. Teach kids how to dial 911 and when they should and should not call first responders. 
  • Stop, drop, and roll. Act out this three-step technique with the whole family. 
  • Go over using a fire extinguisher. Here’s a handy guide
  • Practice. It’s the only way to make sure your kids will be prepared if faced with a real emergency.

Map Out a Plan 

  • Decide in advance who will assist pets, the very young, older adults, or people with disabilities in your household. 
  • Remind your kiddos not to bring anything. They may be tempted to grab favorite stuffed animals or toys. Make sure they know to make a direct path for the exit. 
  • Make sure your children can open windows. That includes removing screens, safely climbing out, and using safety ladders if their bedroom is not on the ground floor.
  • Choose a designated meeting spot. Agree on a place to meet outside, like a big tree in your neighbor’s front yard, or the stop sign at the end of the street. Once everyone is outside, travel together to a neighbor’s house to call 911. 
  • Share the plan. Tell grandparents, babysitters, and other visitors to your home in case a fire starts while your children are under their care.

How to Evacuate

  • Get low. If exiting through smoke, get low and crawl under the smoke, instead of trying to walk through it. 
  • Know your exit routes. The National Fire Protection Association suggests knowing at least two different exit routes from each room in your home. Leaving the house through a door would be the ideal, but sometimes the entry points can be blocked. 
  • Touch doorknobs before entering. Before you open a door, feel how hot the doorknob is. If it is too hot to touch, it could be very dangerous to open the door, making a window a safer option. 
  • Close doors as you exit. Try to close doors behind you, as that can slow the progression of the fire throughout the home.
  • Do not go back inside. It’s crucial to talk to your kids about what to do once they’ve exited the home. Once everyone is safely outside of the house, don’t go back in for anything. Let the trained firefighters head inside instead of trying to do it yourself. 

Resources for Kids 

Keep fire safety top of mind for your kids with these books, apps, and web resources for kids of all ages:

Protect your home from disaster with these safety tips and with the right insurance coverage. Talk to your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent about your options today. 

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2017 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance