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In the event of a fire, every second counts.  You and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.

Prepare and practice your fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities. 
Here are some tips from FEMA to consider when preparing your escape plan:

  • Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Use the ladder only in a real emergency.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
  • Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.
When a fire occurs, get out fast: you may only have seconds to escape safely. Take the safest exit route, but if you must escape through smoke, remember to crawl low, under the smoke and keep your mouth covered. The smoke contains toxic gases, which can disorient you or, at worst, overcome you.

Immediately Leave the Home!

Never Open Doors that are Hot to the Touch

When you come to a closed door, feel the doorknob and door to make sure that fire is not on the other side. If either is hot, leave the door closed and use your secondary escape route. If the door feels cool, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.

If you can't get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors to keep the smoke out. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.

Designate a Meeting Place Outside and Take Attendance!
Designate a meeting location a safe distance in front of your home. For example, meet under a certain tree or at in a neighbor's yard or front sidewalk to make sure everyone has gotten out safely and no one will be hurt looking for someone who is already safe. Remember to escape first, then call 911.

 Never go back into a burning building for any reason. 
Teach children not to hide from firefighters. If someone is missing, or pets are trapped inside your home, tell the firefighters right away. They are equipped to perform rescues safely.
Make sure everyone in your home knows how to call 911 or your local emergency number and that your house number can be seen day or night from the street.

Once Out, Stay Out!

Anderson Insurance Brokers, Inc.
1831 E. Roosevelt Rd., Wheaton , IL  (630) 681-8000
3542 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago, IL  (773) 588-3500
Toll free (866) 681-8700
 www.andersoninsurancebrokers.com

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