Parents should practice fire safety drills during summer months

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office (SFMO) is reminding parents and caregivers of the necessity of child fire safety education this summer.

"Parents must take care to ensure children know what to do if there is an emergency," said Julie Mix McPeak, State Fire Marshal and commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. "We encourage parents to sit down with their children to discuss a home fire escape plan and what to do in an emergency."

Here are additional tips to ensure safety in a fire emergency:

Plan Your Escape

  • Draw a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room.

  • Agree on an outside meeting place where everyone should gather in the event of an emergency. Make sure it's something permanent, like a tree, light pole, or mailbox, and that it's a safe distance from the home.
  • Hold home fire drills twice a year to ensure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire.

Be Prepared

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside every sleeping area and on every level of the home.

  • Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries at least once a year. Remember: no matter what type of smoke alarm you use, they are only good for 10 years.
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and what it signifies.
  • Ensure everyone in the household can unlock and open all doors and windows, even in the dark.
  • If a room has a window air conditioner, make sure there is still a second way out of the room. Windows with security bars, grills, and window guards should have emergency release devices. Make sure you everyone in the home can operate these.
  • Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure that someone will help them.
  • Teach your children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.

Get Out

  • If the smoke alarm sounds or fire is discovered in your home, get out fast. Close doors behind you as you leave to help stop the spread of the fire.

  • Test doors before opening them. Use the back of your hand to see if the door is warm. If it is, use another escape route.

  • If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.

  • If you are trapped, close all doors between you and the fire. Stuff the cracks around the doors with clothes or towels to keep out smoke. Call the fire department, wait at a window and signal for help with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.

Stay Out

  • Once you are out, stay out. Don't go back inside for any reason.

  • Call the fire department from your safe, outside meeting place.

  • If people or pets are trapped, notify the fire department and let them handle the rescue efforts.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.