Fires cause devastation quickly. The best preventative measure you can take in your mobile home is to have a plan for such disasters. It’s never as easy as the question, “What one thing would you grab if your house was burning?” Real fires don’t give you the option to hesitate. Give your family peace of mind and a plan at the same time. Here are some ways to be ready:
- Have an exit strategy. In the moments of a fire you’ll be clouded by adrenaline and panic – so try to agree on a preventative exit strategy. Will every person exit individually? Will one parent help one child, while the other helps the second child escape? Will siblings help each other leave the home? These things are important to decide. Obviously, an actual fire may change what you are able to do, but sticking to your plan can help save lives.
- Establish a common meeting place. Is your meeting place a tree or the mailbox? Is it outside a neighbor’s house? It may be smart to have a backup as well in case one meeting space is compromised or unreachable due to the fire.
- Know how to access the situation. If you wake up to smoke or a fire and you can’t see the source of it – you’ll want to take a quick assessment. The first thing is if your room is filled with smoke and the floor is clear, drop to the floor, as heat rises and the smoke should be thinner at a lower level. Is your window clear and accessible? If your door is closed, do not grab the door knob. Use the back of your hand to check to see if the door is hot. If not, you can probably open the door, but stay low. If the door is hot, head to the window. If you can easily exit it – do so. If not, open the window as far as you can and grab a blanket or pillow sham to wave out the window so firefighters know where you are.
- Don’t be sentimental about items. Leave it behind. It does not matter. Going back into a fire or delaying your exit because of an item can cost you your life and it simply is not worth it. It can be replaced. If it’s a memory – you’ll make new ones.
- Map it out and do drills. Draw/write out your strategy and keep it on your fridge or where your family can revisit it. Twice a month try walking out your plan and talking through possible snags and how to remedy them. Be sure your kids understand and are comfortable with the plan.