Plan ahead for fire emergencies

POSTED: 3:10 PM Oct 10 2012   UPDATED: 5:01 PM Oct 10 2012
EMERGENCY PLAN
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

This is National Fire Prevention week and departments around the area are reaching out to keep you safe.

When it comes to being prepared for a fire, officials say there is nothing more valuable than an emergency plan.

A fire can strike without a moment’s notice at any time. That is why fire experts tell us you should sit down and draw up a plan and teach it to everyone in your house.

Even a simple drawing could mean the difference between life and death. "In that diagram, you might want to include things like all of the exits, doors and windows, as well as things like smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and any emergency ladder,” Johnson City's assistant Fire Marshal Mike Hill said.

The plan should be discussed with your entire family and everyone should agree on much more on just how to get out. For instance, where would you go if your house caught fire? Who would call 911?

'Kids, unless they are taught different, their first impulse is to hide, which you don't want them to do,” Hill added. “You want them to leave with the adults. Also, their other impulse is if there is a pet in the house, to go back in after that pet. And we strongly stress, do not go back in the house once you are out."

Talking the plan through is a great way to be prepared. Some hands-on practice like a fire drill may be in order as well, just to make sure everybody is up to speed. "You will also want to do some training with your children,” Hill pointed out. “You want to make sure they can manipulate door locks and window locks also. And make sure every member of the family can do it also. Like if you have senior members in your family, they would be able to manipulate those also."