How to plan an emergency escape route in your home

3 min read on home

Nov 22, 2017

You never know how you’ll react in an emergency situation until it happens. Although we hope the situation never arises, taking preventative measures like planning an emergency escape route in your home can help keep you and your family safe. Follow the simple steps below to map out your emergency escape route:

Start by drawing a floor plan

Either drawn or digital, begin by mapping out the outline of your home. Then, add in the walls, windows, doors, and label all of the rooms. Check with your provincial government to identify where smoke and carbon dioxide alarms should be placed and then mark them all on your plan. Be sure to mark fire extinguishers too! Lastly, mark all exits and draw the exit route out of each room that will get your family out quickly and safely. 

If you have children or grandchildren who sleepover, it’s important to get kids involved. A fun way to do this is to get out the markers or pencil crayons and have them help draw the plan.

Make your home escape-route friendly

Be sure to visit each room and inspect all of the potential exits and escape routes. Make sure the windows open and that the doors close. Look at how your rooms are set up; if there is a fire, could that big chest of drawers be blocking the window? If so, now is the perfect time to move them to a safer location. Once this is done add the exits and escapes to your floor plan. A dotted red line works well.

You should also review important information that could help keep your family safe. Everyone should know that closed doors can slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire, and that they should keep to the ground if there is smoke inside the house. 

Pick a place to meet outside your home

Pick a location a safe distance from your home where everyone can meet in the event of an emergency. Mark the location on your escape plan. While you’re outside, be sure to check that your house or building number can be seen from the street so that emergency vehicles will be able to find your home. Learn your relevant emergency phone numbers so you can quickly contact them if needed. 

Practice your emergency escape plan

It’s time to walk everyone through the plan so they understand it and are familiar with the exit route. Don’t forget the pets! They may not be able to learn it, but thinking about their safety means you’ll be better prepared in case of an emergency. Make sure to practice your escape plan at least twice a year so you’re ready to use it should you need to. A good way to remember is by scheduling it around daylight saving time, the same time you should change the batteries in your fire alarm. Practice may not make perfect, but it can help keep everyone safe.

Test your knowledge

Pop quiz! With your eyes shut, do you know the locations of all your emergency exits? Do you know the locations of your smoke detectors? Be sure to brush up on your knowledge should you move or renovate your home. Ensuring that you are familiar with your plan is the first step to keeping you and your loved ones safe in an emergency.

Check in with your insurance provider

Do you have the right home insurance to protect your home and its contents? If you are insured through Johnson Insurance, you can talk with one of our friendly representatives to find out more about home insurance options to make sure you’re covered.

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