Plan & Practice Your Escape
Today, homes burn faster than ever. You may have as little as two minutes (or even less time) to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out of a home during a fire depends on early warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.
It is important for everyone to plan and practice a home fire escape. Everyone needs to be prepared in advance, so that they know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Given that every home is different, every home fire escape plan will also be different.
Have a plan for everyone in your home—children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out safely. Make sure that someone is designated to help them!
Purchase, Install & Test Alarms
Smoke alarms sense smoke well before you can, alerting you to danger. Smoke alarms should be installed and tested to make sure they are properly working in every bedroom, outside of sleeping areas (like hallways), and on each level of your home (including the basement). Do not put smoke alarms in your kitchen or bathrooms.
Choose an alarm that is listed with a testing laboratory, meaning it has met certain standards for protection.
For the best protection, use combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. These can be installed by a qualified electrician, so that when one sounds, they all sound. This ensures you can hear the alarm no matter where in your home the alarm originates.
UW Medicine Regional Burn Center and HIPRC work daily to prevent fires and burn injuries locally, regionally and internationally.
HIPRC core faculty members Drs. Charles Mock and Barclay Stewart lead burn injury prevention at HIPRC. Dr. Mock, HIPRC Global Injury section lead, compiled burn injury prevention success stories while working with the World Health Organization to highlight ways fire and burn prevention can work regardless of national resources. Dr. Stewart, Assistant Professor of Surgery, is the new Chair of the International Society for Burn Injuries Prevention Committee and is working with stakeholders globally to reduce the burden of fires and burn injuries through health promotion, advances in safe cooking and heating technology, behavioral change, and advocacy and legislation.
Access helpful information and resources at: hiprc.org/burn-safety
For more information on the NW Regional Burn Center at Harborview Medical Center, visit their homepage.
Courtesy: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).