Plan and Practice Fire Escape Routes

As fall temperatures arrive, fire safety comes back into focus, as Oct. 4-10, is Fire Prevention Week in the U.S. When it comes to a fire emergency, the Window Safety Task Force in partnership with the National Safety Council reminds everyone that doors and windows are the primary and secondary escape routes. This is an especially important topic this fire season, when those on the West Coast are experiencing higher risk.

How prepared are you to escape safely in a fire?

“Unfortunately, you may have little time to safely escape a fire in your home,” says Angela Dickson, Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) marketing and communications director. “The Window Safety Task Forces encourages everyone to develop and test an escape plan at least twice a year. The plan should include accommodations for individuals with special needs and for pets.”

Seven safety tips from the Window Safety Task Force

1. Create a fire escape plan that includes two exits from every room in your home, through a door and a window.
2. Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at night, as many home fires occur at night.
3. Practice opening and closing windows that may be designated as emergency exits.
4. Attempt to open a window first, rather than break the glass, if you must exit through it in an emergency.
5. Open the window to escape or choose another exit route, if your home features windows with impact-resistant glass like that used in some hurricane-prone areas.
6. Check with local code officials when remodeling your home to understand emergency escape and rescue (egress) building code requirements. Egress windows are those designated by code as large enough for you to escape through or for rescue workers to enter in emergency situations.
7. Consult your local building code official to determine proper placement of window guards or fall prevention devices if you equip windows in your home with these. Look for devices that comply with ASTM F2090.

Visit the window safety sections of the FGIA and Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) websites to learn more. Follow the Window Safety Task Force on Twitter and Facebook for more tips and updates on this important safety issue.

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