BC Parent Newsmagazine logo

Family Safety First: Crafting a Home Fire Escape Plan

Awareness, Safety
5 min read
Safety

Earlier on in my professional life, and during my on-screen career, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some pretty awesome kids. What many Mr. D fans may not know is that before entering the entertainment industry, I spent over nine years as a phys-ed teacher.

During that time, I saw the students run through countless fire drills. Did you know that on average, Canadian students will practice approximately 140 fire drills throughout their K-12 experience? They say that practice makes perfect. And, when it comes to fire safety, you can never be too practiced. But wow, that’s a lot of fire drills! With all that practice you can probably imagine how well-prepared our kids are to respond in the event of a fire……at school.

But, what about when it comes to at-home fire preparedness? 

Well, this is where we all could use some much-needed education. While Canadian parents may recognize how important it is to have a fire escape plan at home, only 7% have one in writing*. OOF! As a father, teacher, and coach, I know how important it is to be prepared for emergencies and act quickly when they happen. That’s why I’m glad to be partnering with Kidde Canada for their 2023 Cause for Alarm initiative to share important at-home fire prevention and preparedness resources with families. 

safety

Alright, now let’s talk about fire safety plans. When it comes to our homes, we all want to be prepared and ready in case of a fire. But I get what you’re thinking – where do I even start? 

Tips for Creating Your Fire Escape Plan

Creating a fire escape plan does not have to be complicated for you or your kiddos. With this in mind, let’s break down the most important steps you’ll need to know when you’re creating one for your home. 

  1. Ensure that you have working smoke alarms throughout your house

Working smoke alarms double your chances of safely escaping a house fire. You need working smoke alarms on every level of your home (including the basement), in hallways, and both inside and outside every sleeping area – and make sure to test them weekly! 

  1. Remember the twos

The rule of twos is important when crafting your household’s fire escape plan:  

  • Always know 2 ways out of every room 
  • Practice 2 times per year
  • Practice 2 times of the day – daytime and nighttime
  1. Know who will assist. 

Identify who might need extra help when trying to escape, and assign a person who would assist in case of an emergency.

  1. Get escape ladders

Especially for houses that have rooms upstairs. Sometimes, the main staircase may not be the most ideal way to get out. 

  1. When the alarm sounds – Get outside and stay outside!

Determine a specific place near the outside of your house where your family will meet and gather. We wouldn’t want anyone, and I mean anyone (I’m looking at the husbands out there) to aimlessly roam around the streets once they’ve escaped. This would ensure that no one gets lost and the family stays together. 

  1. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services immediately.

There are so many great resources available online to help us and our families create a fire escape plan, including the Kidde Fire Safety Toolkit! Available in 7 languages, this kit includes resources such as tips to create your home escape plan, a fire safety checklist, and fire safety word games for your kids!

safety

Now I know it’s not going to be that easy for your little ones to recall this much information, especially if they’re in a stressful emergency situation. That’s where memory tools can come in handy. I find that music is a great tool to help me recall some of that information.  Do you ever find that a song will get stuck in your head, and you just can’t get rid of it? Yep, that’s what I’m talking about.

There are tons of great, kid-friendly resources for children to help them remember what to do in the event of a fire, like Kidde’s Beeps That Last, Get Out Fast sing-along. I’m practically singing it in my head as I write this… Beeps, beeps that last… 

In all seriousness, this is a great tool that educators and parents can share with little ones to help them remember what to do in the event of a fire.

Fire safety should not stop in the classroom! Recognizing that essentials like smoke alarms and fire escape plans often slip our minds at home, I’m proud to support Kidde’s mission to raise awareness and help keep more families safe by equipping them with educational resources and tools for how to put them into practice. Need more resources? Check out https://www.causeforalarm.org/canada to explore more fire safety resources, including planning resources for adults and educational activities for children.

About Gerry Dee

Gerry Dee, a comedian and actor, currently serves as the host of Family Feud Canada. Before venturing into his on-screen career, Gerry spent nearly a decade as a teacher. His comedic style is heavily influenced by these teaching experiences, offering a unique perspective on the education system. Gerry seamlessly integrates observational comedy with his time in the classroom, resonating with audiences and gaining widespread recognition. This led to Gerry’s partnership with Kidde Canada, intended to emphasize the importance of preparedness and highlight the need to bridge the gap in fire safety between schools and homes through education, practice, and readiness.

What are your thoughts?

Related Stories