No one likes to think about bad things happening to their homes, vehicles, or themselves.
However, the reality is that as much as we don’t want them to, unexpected things happen in our lives.
This is why trusted insurance providers like Bosworth & Associates in Tyler, Texas, offer insurance policies such as renter’s insurance, homeowner’s insurance policies, health insurance, car insurance, and more.
Insurance rates, insurance premiums, and what is covered depends on the insurer and the policy, but regardless, insurance exists to help protect you, your family, and your assets in case the unexpected happens.
There are also proactive things you can do to help protect your family from an emergency, such as creating a family fire escape plan.
The reality that our home could burn down isn’t something we want to contemplate, but being prepared can go a long way towards making sure you and your family are unharmed in the terrible event your home catches on fire.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration website, the 2021 estimates across the nation for residential building fires are as many as 353,500 fires, resulting in…ready for it?… $8,855,900,000 in losses.
Fire damage isn’t the only danger in a house fire—you and your family are also at risk for injuries and even death from smoke inhalation.
Making sure you have a plan to protect yourself and your family is a great way to make certain that, in the case of such an emergency, everyone is prepared and on the same page. Every second counts when it comes to getting your family out of a burning house unharmed. Being prepared and having a family fire escape plan will save valuable time in the instance a fire occurs in your home.
Make the plan in advance and go through it together as a family. Did you ever have to go through fire drills in school? Whether you realized it or not, you had a much better idea of what to do in case your school actually did catch on fire. Having a fire escape plan for your family is along those lines: you walk your family through the exact escape routes and course of action you would go through if your home were to catch fire. In doing so, you ensure everyone knows what to do if an emergency comes to pass.
Especially if there are children or elderly household members, it’s important to have exits clearly marked. Have two or more escape plans. It’s possible that fire would block one of your planned escape routes, so it’s necessary to have a backup just in case.
Make sure you have smoke alarms in all rooms of the house and routinely check them to make sure they’re all working properly. Change the batteries regularly as well.
Emergencies can be confusing times. Especially if it’s dark and smoky and you’re woken out of sleep. Talk to your family and have a planned meeting place decided on ahead of time, such as a neighbor’s home. In case your family must flee the house because of a fire, it’s important that everyone knows where to meet up as soon as they’ve left the building. Valuable time can be lost, and people can put themselves in unnecessary danger when searching for loved ones who’ve already made it out of the home safely.
If your kids have phones or are old enough to use them, make sure they know your house number and address in case they have to call emergency services and give them directions. It’s also important to make sure they know how to call emergency services.
Teach your kids and practice how to “get low.” As mentioned previously, one of the main dangers in the case of a house fire is smoke inhalation. Teach and practice how to get down on the floor and avoid becoming overcome by smoke. In addition, teach your family members how to cover their nose and mouth with cloth to minimize smoke inhalation.
Remember “stop, drop, and roll”? That’s also an important detail to include in your plan. In the instance someone catches fire, they’ll be able to save themselves.
Have your evacuation plan in a prominent place in your home—better yet, a few places, including your children’s rooms. If you have elderly family members living with you, it’s a good idea to have the evacuation route clearly detailed and available for them as well.
As hard as it is, it’s important to speak with your kids about the importance of not taking time to gather beloved possessions. Every second counts in the instance of a fire in your home—especially at night—and it’s crucial your children understand there’s no time to go back for toys or possessions.
For houses over a single story, make sure to have a rope ladder or fire escape installed and easily accessible in all applicable rooms.
Practice your plan with your kids and other family members in the home until they’re comfortable doing it.
Know who will be helping who. Especially if you have elderly household members or young children, make sure there’s a plan for who will assist them out of the house.
Insurance helps protect you and your family from the fallout an emergency or unexpected occurrence can cause. Be sure to ask your local insurance provider if you are covered in the case of a fire-related emergency. However, it’s also important to have more immediate plans in place—such as a fire escape plan—to make sure you and your family are unharmed in the case of a house fire.
Just like the old saying goes: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”