Your employer has put an emergency evacuation plan in place at work. You often say to yourself that you should draw one up at home too, but you keep putting it off. Yet having an escape plan might just save your life—and your children’s—in the event of a fire or an emergency. So why not make that home evacuation plan, once and for all? Here’s how to do it in four easy steps
- Draw a floor plan of your home
Using a sheet of graph paper, draw a detailed floor plan of each level of your home. There are templates available to complete online and print, like this one on the website of Quebec’s public security ministry. Put the plan somewhere it will be clearly visible.
- Identify important featuresIdentify the following on your plan
- Doors and windows that could be used as emergency exits, and the paths to those exits (at least 2 per room)
- A meeting point that will provide a clear view, ideally in front of your home (avoid having to cross the street
- Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguisher
- Plan how to evacuate the most vulnerable people
- Be sure to plan ahead to determine how to evacuate babies, children and any elderly or disabled relatives.
- Test your plan at least once a year
Make sure nothing has changed in your plan and do a safety drill to simulate an emergency. All family members should take part and understand the plan properly. Each parent could be responsible for one child, so for example, if you have two children, you could be responsible for the youngest, and your spouse, the eldest. You could also delegate one family member to take care of any pets.
Take this opportunity to check that your smoke detectors are working properly. Also plan the best way to call 911 when you are outside, for example who will make the call.
Time to start drawing that plan!