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Fire Drill and Evacuation Plans

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I think that we can all take a trip down memory lane for a moment and remember our childhood fire drills in school. We remember having to get in single file lines and proceeding to the closest exit and running through the same old routine quarterly.

At that age we were thinking how repetitive it was, taking it for granted and not realizing that it does, in fact, serve a significant purpose. The purpose being practicing for the worst case scenario - which would be an active fire inside the school.

The overall objective should be practicing to the point where it is muscle memory. Implementing a strong and reliable fire evacuation plan should be a top priority for not only businesses and schools, but for inside the home as well.

A well-rounded fire evacuation plan

A solid, well-rounded fire evacuation plan can benefit all occupants inside any occupied facility or dwelling. Inside the plan should be conditions that highlight when an evacuation is warranted, and proper routes and exits that are easy to understand in the event of an emergency. With the graphic technology that is available to everyone today, making a diagram that shows the exits and routes is now easier than ever.

An old saying states that practice makes perfect. Well, the same can be said for Fire Drills. Practicing a fire drill will allow all occupants to be on the same page in the event of any kind of emergency. In 2014, the United States reported there were an estimated 367,500 reported home structure fires and 2,745 associated civilian deaths in the United States.

Here are a few tips that can help with making the evacuation of a building or home successful:

  1. Clear egress paths.
  2. Install fire safety equipment on each floor of the facility to include fire extinguishers.
  3. Ensure smoke detectors are placed and functioning in all sleep areas.
  4. Establish a safe meeting place outside the structure in the even of an emergency.
  5. Take accountability.

In a family setting, involving children in the evacuation plan diagram is very important. Consider having the children draw their own diagram, this way they are able to draw something that will be able to understand. Also, this will keep them focused on the importance of knowing what to do in the event of the emergency.

Be safe, be focused, and don't be another statistic.

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Anthony Hilderbrand Anthony Hilderbrand is currently a fire inspector and fire investigator for the Department of Defense. He spent the last eight years in the Air Force and held five distinctive positions within the fire service. During his tenure as an Airman he had three separate tours to the Middle East. With his Associates in Fire Science in hand, Anthony is currently enrolled at American Military University pursuing his Bachelor's in Fire Science Management.