E.D.I.T.H. can save your life!Who is this E.D.I.T.H. that can save your life? This E.D.I.T.H. isnot a person, but a plan you make to escape from fire in your home.E - escape, D - drills, I - in, T - the, H - home.Fires in the home are the cause of many deaths. In fact, 70% of all fatalities byfire occur in private residences. Most of these could have been prevented if thefamilies had a fire escape plan and if they would of practiced the plan!
In only three minutes your home could be totally involved in fire. Time is noton your side. If a fire occurs in your home, every second counts. Members of yourfamily should react quickly and calmly. It only takes three minutes to looseeverything you have, including your children.
Design a planIf you don't already have a plan for your family's emergency fire escape,sit down with your family today and make one. Diagrams showing emergencyescape routes are a helpful visual aid for all family members. I have includedan example diagram, draw one for your home:Note: At least two ways out of each room & a family meeting placelink to a piece of graph paper to print outPlan for at least two escape routes, in the event fire blocks one of them.Make sure children can work all the windows, doors and locks they may haveto use with an alternate escape route. If the alternate escape route is fromthe second floor, be sure there is a safe way to the ground. If it's smoky,get down, stay low and crawl fast. And, make sure everyone in your familyunderstands that they must not go back into your home, Not for anything.
Choose a meeting place Very important, choose a meeting place outdoors where your family is tomeet for a head count. This way you can make sure everyone has exitedfrom the home safely. Never go back into your home!
Drill your escape planAfter checking the plan on paper, actually drill the entire plan. Have everyone start in their bedroom, with the doors closed. One person should shout, ring abell, or push the smoke detector's test button to start the drill. Everyone shouldthen crawl under the "smoke" and meet out side at the meeting place.
Test smoke detectorsFor your plan to work, your home must also be equipped with operatingsmoke detectors. Testing your smoke detector(s) every month is an excellentopportunity to use E.D.I.T.H.
Check the doorIf your awakened by your smoke detectors, and you suspect a fire, do notopen the door until you've tested it. To test your door, use the back of yourhand. If the door is warm, use your alternate escape route.If the door is cool, stay low, brace your shoulder against the door and openit a crack. If smoke and heat come in, slam the door shut and use youralternate escape route. Try to keep closed doors between you and the smoke.
Never try to hide from fireTell little kids to never hide if there's a fire... not in a closet or under a bed.Tell them to wait by a window and signal with a bed sheet or flashlight.Sit down with your family and make your E.D.I.T.H. plans now, then practice,it may save your life (or the life of someone you love)!